There is a time in October
when stars unfold like a broadsheet.
Air becomes dangerous with something unreadable,
some things unsayable.
There’s one hour out of the usual twenty-four stretch
that doesn’t properly exist;
a bat flit of an hour, gifting us time
to rearrange the furniture of our souls.
This hour is lavolta turning a leaf.
It shakes out surprising wings
and launches into matchless blackness.
This done in the depth of the night,
the well of stars whispers what’s out there:
everything easier to tell.
We have a mental picture of our son
hanging light into arches of paper-clips
and testing the tension of rubber bands,
with crazy handmade machines.
He creases enormous white cards
into fortune-teller bases
and teases his way
out of the structure we built by folding
him into the valley of our arms.
His chains of thousands
and thousands of paper clips drift under
the sculpture canopy’s outlandish sails
at Falmouth. He gets to play tag
with light that zings in coastal air,
shinier than words.
Cadenas sur le Pont des Arts
This bridge in Paris is swarming with couples,
its mesh sides carrying garlands – thousands and thousands
of brightly coloured love charms.
These are not the kind of blossoms the architects,
Jacques and Louis-Alexandre, envisaged – they’d thought of
suspended gardens, trees, benches,
most of all, embankments of flowers, their blown petals,
deliciously rippling in slow rhythmic kisses on the Seine.
But instead, the river is clogged with keys,
forced to gorge on them – Yales, Chubbs
and all kinds of cheaper trash stowed in its snake-brown belly.
The plan is to sanctify love,
snap it together with padlocks of steel.
They are heavy, weighing down the bridge beyond reason,
splitting its sides, making it artless.
Susan Taylor writes about love, stars, darkness, rain – elemental things. She’s trying to capture essences from these and guesses it’s a bit like homeopathy, which she also believes in. She lives on Dartmoor with poet, Simon Williams, where they run Trade Winds open mic sessions and a new Totnes cabaret evening, Café Culture.
Together Susan and Simon edit an annual journal of poetry by poets in the West Country, The Broadsheet.
Susan has quite a back list of poetry publications. The latest are A Small Wave for Your Form (2012) from Oversteps Books and, this year, a limited edition pamphlet, This Given.