JL Williams' After Economy (Shearsman, 2017), second selection
A continuing selection of my favourite passages from JL Williams' third collection:
Dark, this desire for space.
The wasteland stained star-white.
A lake speared with dead trees
whose white trunks stab the sky.
The ribs of angels up.
from 'Desiderata Nocturne'
a raven stands in the jade grass
still as a carving in onyx
watching the blood drip out of the car
soak into the soil dye the frond-like
curls of ferns
from 'Blood on the Trees'
In order to smell the smoke in the dark room,
to know what the words mean though you don't know the words,
to recognise the name being spoken by the wind.
last stanza of 'I Enquire of You'
What molten pour will bleed
a bright river
this time? Time, whose face itself
end of 'Paradigm'
We die in a river of salt,
light on water,
bodies white angels sunk without hate or remorse.
The sun is a river of salt,
a white scarf blowing in the desert.
from 'Good Work'
Flame-cast shadows flicker in mortal embrace.
last line of 'Letters from Home'
Each kernel is gold, has always been
swollen with milk.
No one prays. The prayer is already
here as seed, as light.
end of 'You Are the Ear'
Remember, beacon, our nights.
Only your flame keeps me stumbling through the birch wood.
last stanza of 'Ithakas'
when i walked through the mirror
and found you as a child
holding an acorn to the light
as if to see the life inside
from 'The Thousand-Petalled Night'
Shaman, he fed his son to the earth and the earth
in her sorrow ate him and thus he must be buried and must
we all be buried, become like jewels, become bounty.
last stanza of 'Bounty'