Peter Scupham

Goodman’s Garden

Where did they all go? Thickets of love and pain rustle in a dry light and skeins of corvidae traipse to a dusk roost. Time is a flip book. Lift your dear hand and feel the pages purr as years fan by in their lost variegations of green, gold, brown, and an old cat, white

Winter Words

Calendar pages: one scrumpled day dies in a garden spun to fools’ gold, where wind mews over twigs and bones at an outhouse door, black sky sustains the buoyancy of loss, dried sap knots branch to branch, caging a star whose variable glance is light’s tumult cut to the quick yet cold to the retina

Monsieur Clermont

That August, in La France Profonde, the frelons were out in force, honey-gold cruisers of late summer air, their poigniards sheathed. The heat lapped at a sticky terrace table, our observation post for village fictions — Jean, his bench-saw snoring to the hornets, a girl scraping her pans out to the hens, that old man

Mynheer Wouwermans

From the long ride, fresh trees licked by enough blue light to cross-patch antique trousers, we come at last past casks head-dressed with tulips to this puzzling concourse where white signs agree to open a house decked by strangers with an attentive love. ‘Mynheer, do you remember? Yes, twenty-five years.’ Our polls are whiter than

Out of Reach

Think of a hand-slip, a spun summit bothered by mist, the whirr and thrum of dark metals, a stranded face minding a gap which widens, widens, leaves one candle to burn in silence, late summer wings to char on glass, unspoken words to spell their spells forwards, backwards — fine fruit to hang in armouries

For God, King and Country

Flags and flowers: three bloody years worked in silk. At the needle’s eye stand easy, ghost, slip through my fingers your blue, indelible, weightless kisses for the children. Tell Charlie, Min, time is short now. Up to the firing line for night operations — a ‘fabrication française’ where threads unravel, unvarnished truths must be embroidered