Duck Lane

by Paul Stevens

Trees were earth nerves fingering numb
into the cold sky, where ravens glided, swarmed
around clotted nests, as evening solidified.
Down Duck Lane, we walked between neat blackberry

hedgerows butchered square to grid the land,
loam fields away left and right, spread thick like black
butter; and running beside the lane, the ditch
green with rank run-off. Hefty cows

stared amiably out from the byres; black-faced lambs
and sheep in the sheep-sheds raised their evensong
plain to the sky, their voices ascending rich
through the poignant, heavy incense of manure

to fertilise heaven. Down Duck Lane the mallards
splashed in algae pond and ditch, shook feathers,
toddled and hopped, wielding awkward wings
upon the stiff mist, lifted clumsily, were gone

to climb the shivering air to wooded copse,
beating on up to the low, frozen clouds.

© 2007 by Paul Stevens



About the Author

Paul Stevens was born in Yorkshire, but lives in Australia. He has an Honours Degree in English from the University of Sydney, and teaches Literature, Historiography, and Ancient History. His recent poetry is in The Barefoot Muse, WORM, Lily, The Argotist, The New Formalist, as well as the forthcoming Poemeleon, The Centrifugal Eye and Contemporary Sonnet. He is the Poetry Editor (with Nigel Holt) of The Shit Creek Review + II.


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