30 November 2016 – Jean Riley

Rock and some of its constituents may be better left in situ but architect, Ammar Khammash, unlocks the glorious voice of dessert stone. Here in Gloucestershire, last day of November, earth newly mulched, I think of subterranean layers. This short poem, in response, may also be about the writer’s voice.

Hard-Pressed in November

Desert flint, foraged, lined up, struck
like a xylophone, chimes. Silica rings,

chert scales the true chromatic, sings
of synchronicity, of mutability.

Muzzled limestone’s mute. Resists
and yields, hard-pressed, deep

under a new scant fall. In the arrows
of time, leaden lungs stall.


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