Stephen Collis



What sort of madness what

sort of fatigue brings this

tree's bough to the ground the

handful of nails out of my

pocket the last light from

the sky as I turn back towards

the house the dead

eagle fresh in memory,

in the soil I just buried it in

its head gone (crows) it

fell from the tree where

it had been hung up a

few days growing in smell

and losing feathers

This means good luck I

tell the hedge I toss

the leftover nails into

this means I ought to

build more complex structures

just a playhouse today for

two daughters running shout

this means build I think

the architectures of dream the

streaming columns rooms of

gold with poetry walls

all jade and gleaming and

dark with night and

wanting the firey posts

shining lintel and

above this I'll hang a

flaming bird and its

eternal flight will take

whatever I build

with it into the sky

behind the sky

falling feathers and

a spiral through the boughs


I'm not quite sure

why the bottom of my foot hurts

I'm not quite sure

where I am when I say

here I am

clover overtaking the back yard

a faint desire to eat fresh berries

to wing my way towards

some other undreamt of work

weather eye open

hammer and some boards

busy in my father's chest

a canoe in the cloud maybe

I reach the house after many years

it is unbuilt in memory and

for sale all this time