Wheel Ceremony


The boards shift to a rattle of snails,
somnolent, still; each walled behind
its mucal crust, waiting at the close of winter,
to greet the equinox.

The mound is half the size it was;
a metre cube of rough black gold,
falling soft to the spade, open to air
and very light, for all its tunnage.

This remains of the gradual hoard;
the vanished gatherings of grit,
waste, litter, and occasional layers
of dung, ash, cast lime: dissolved.

Root seed leaf and stem, changed
made softer than dust, without form,
save here and there a mussel shell
brandlings, wine cork, all gone

through death and out the other side;
a multiplicity made one, primordial,
whose velvet riches, grid-sifting,
we turn again and cast for leavening.



From Greenstreet Fragments