Two Poems by Kitty Coles


With every mile, the land unwinds itself,
draws back the scarf-skin, pulls its ribcage wide.
Fog rises from wet grass and my breath, too,
materialises, spirit manifest.
The hill stands on the skyline and the lake
lies supine in its hollow, dreaming deep.
The squirrel skitters on the bough and melts,
invisible, into the thin twigs’ clutches.
I reach the boundary of the trees and enter
and the ground shifts, accretions of dead matter.
Leaves twitch and snake down through the thickened air,
aromas of dank mould and some far fire.
The wood darkens as I come near its centre,
a dark that’s rich as blood, as integral.
My pulse reverberates in time with its,
not through my choice but under its compulsion.

Keeping the Twilight

Night falls down early now.
The days diminish and compassionate dusk
seeps, pliable, around the cusp of noon.
The sky solidifies its softnesses,
tenders the eyes with smoke and massing grain.
My blanket comforts me, curled by the window,
the curtains open and the owlish moon
sits blandly up, rose gold against bruise blue.
The teacup steams, medicinal and honeyed:
its twists are ghosts, ascending bland and solemn.
The room wears fragile at this hour and season:
the walls dissolve and woods draw closer in.
Their darkness holds me under,
in your realm. If I hold very still,
I may feel your breath on my skin.
If I weep seven tears, you may yet step
from their brine, responsive in a way you never were.
I keep my vigil and I keep the twilight,
drink to the shadow flittering by the door.


Kitty’s poems have been widely published and have been nominated for the Forward Prize, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her pamphlet, Seal Wife (2017), was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize. Her first collection, Visiting Hours, will be published in 2020 by The High Window.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.