Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

Scorched Landscape With Grouse

here

deliquesce 

 

here deliquescing heat 

hustled by the moor’s bold breath 

has brittled this dale to dust here 

fell blisters sketched across the rubbed-out land

heave of soils swelling high and wide as ocean roll

 

here sun washes white every

thing 

blanking out its own zealous burn 

and through this bristling scrub two flame heads flicker

flit

pecking through vast drifts of heather forged bronze

 

they’re not a pair

their same-sized lekking depicts not-a-pair

but a pair 

stilled 

feathered nostrils toes feathered blue-clawed

feathered wings white-specked as a painter’s smock

half-matched half-bright against 

the rusted char

 

I’d like to think they’ll flicker tints over this spike scarred ground 

nurture it into soft purple down again 

but everything will grow

in spite of their chunter

Melissa is an editor based in Oxford. She is interested in places where arts and science intersect and, in particular, in how the brain perceives and produces creative works.