The Snow And The Coal - Poem by Stug Jordan
Two roads, one sign, a layer of snow,
Covering fields, on either side
Of the old school, the roof of the church;
The shivering gates of the railway crossing.
The dog bark startles the magpie;
Skipping its wings through wind, past chimney smoke
As the wheels roll past carefully,
Treading their tracks of sulphur-slush and mud.
Like a corpse slung into the road,
The little black rock tumbles to a stop;
Burying itself like an ancient meteor -
Shivering with cold in the fossils of ice.
In the piebald sky, the black clouds sink
Behind horizons of fields and locked-up cows,
Whose breath snorts foggy words
At the slow clink of the steady train.
Rigidly raining, bullets of snow,
Flesh-wounding the innocent coal;
Reunited with the earth like a pile of dust,
Dreaming of some warm, distant hearth.
A hedge, two tyre-tracks, a row of footprints,
Disfiguring the bird’s-eye view
That stares like a sentinel over this marriage
Of the earth and sky; stone piled on stone.
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