Novel 'O Man of Clay.' After sea-level rise.

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County Durham, United Kingdom
'O Man of Clay,' set in Hartlepool and Siberia in the near future while the tundra is thawing and the sea level rising, was published in January 2020 by Stairwell Books.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Spring 2020

This was my poem published in Dream Catcher, 29.
Things have moved on since then.

To May, late under cloud

Reading the news, I watch through the window
how you sit up, shake your hair, slough peat slag
over breasts, between thighs; overslept,

blowzy ladies smock in the sump of your pit.
Here, a sexton beetle, dislodged from your nostril
where bees buffet musk of catkins, finds carrion.

Your bush, untamed thicket of thorn beyond
my fence, spikes spare blossom as you stretch,
arms high, dripping slow-worms from your fingers

and yawn wide-mouthed after a long sleep.
Later, digging, I hear a lone cuckoo; back from across
the Sahara, it slips an egg in your nest of hair.

Yet, though I blunder, astonished at the snipe
wooing his mate with a whoop of feather-fanning
(your belly laugh), still, I hear you blub at the loss

of beetle and moth, bereft but for orange tips
foraging the margins of my vegetable patch.
And when you lurch, drunk, over the mill lade,

frock rucked, spilling intoxicating may,
your navel does not glisten with nectar, you who
stumble a wind’s blow away where ash is dying.

News is, you broke into a lab, stole a fungal spray
for Chalara Fraxinea but it is sour, cramps your gut
and, so they say, you may not now, conceive.

  Eliza Mood      

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