Late-afternoon light angles on a web. I can’t make sense of the route the ant is taking: will it clamber the rose or enter the crevice between paving stones. The lawn is chapped. Bee-bombs ply, summer-fuddled, heat-stupid. Some purpose drives them to the next stop, as water travels through my hands. The whirring shapes I make are wavery, Tex Avery. I thumb-nozzle over the fox’s beat. The eye of the blackbird, the squirrel in the neighbours’ garden. Ply the lawn like I’m applying dye to my own grey roots. The mole spreads its feet and feels each drop. The trees drip with bird and Orpheus turns upon me his round eye and speaks gently of his choice. His eye is the sun that chases shadow back under its object. What floats into a tree, not sure at first if it had not been a butterfly, but then locating it on a branch, a finch. I wind back the hose, a moth flickers out of the garage like a word I had not known I’d forgotten.
Giles Goodland was born in Taunton, was educated at the universities of Wales and California, took a D. Phil at Oxford, has published a several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001), Capital (Salt, 2006), Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012), and The Masses (Shearsman, 2018). He has worked as a lexicographer, editor, and bookseller, and teaches evening classes on poetry for Oxford University's department of continuing education, and lives in West London.