A sycamore, keeper of this fold
spreads her midden fingers thick with winters
gaining grip each spring on jars drained of honey
and jam, floral jugs with handles gone, pheasant plates
slipped by mistake in a stone sink, oven-cracked
in nights waiting ‘til lambing was done.
We scrat among chunks of glass surfacing
like shark fins in sea upon seasons of leaf mould,
stumbled horse bits, bridles reined thin,
earthenware bowls useless for bread. Our hands
soil-crazed we prise out a cup
lift it to the light – pale graphite words slip
across the pink lustre glaze – All we Wish and All we Want.
His heirloom? Her souvenir? Their wedding gift
handed down between frost-scoured land and seed?
We stand in the dark distance of long ago
making our way between worlds like deer passing
through the ghyll. Holding the cup like the moon.
Kerry Darbishire grew up in the Lake District and continues to live in a remote area of Cumbria. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines and she has won several competition prizes. Her love of the surviving wild Cumbrian landscape has greatly influenced her work. Her first poetry collection, ‘A Lift of Wings’ with Indigo Dreams Publishing, came out in 2014, and her biography, ‘Kay’s Ark’, (the life of her mother), published by Handstand Press, is due out in summer 2016.
‘For me writing is addictive, a hanging on to the beauty of things.’