Choke by Gillian Prew

The land is foul, the water is foul, our beasts and ourselves defiled with blood.
T.S. Eliot


the hill-line a long bone hiding the sun-spill/ the river thick with muck-blooms/

swell-bellied, strangled by sewage stems the fish swim this garden of graves/ black

the beasts covered in shadows and reborn in mourning/ their visitors are full of

cancer and cold/ birds gather, unnamed/ unfurling their gifts/


reading the sky I see a flaming bouquet


grief glows/ the blood is neon, the berries meat/ light is a fist, a snapshot of ruins/ I

have seen the slurry/ here/ catastrophe/ the rain full –  a globe/ one bird with a name,

ten winter swans/ a boatful of people, their flood a luminous milk/


water, you have become white in your worry


a chilled flower/ a lacewing/ all the busy variety/ a busking blackbird/ a cat fixed up

by the mystery of her lives/ love laying down her last corpuscle for the land/ and

where is the new language?


poetry, it is time for your patterns


the great melt/ the starvelings/ animals folding species by species/ a cage of hens without sons/ a cow sucked to a bag/ the beasts are singing through holes in their throats/


Earth – a blue light diminishing, a choir of glass/


(Note: Final version. I do not accept The Establishment’s version)

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