Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. His poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, Canada, the US and Hong Kong.
The air is tense: electric charges
in cloud and ground strain to fuse
till fingers reach out, touch, lightning strikes
and rain drenches the parched land.
The shrivelled seed swells, bursts, thrusts
its root into the wetted earth.
Shell Beach, Western Australia
Ruffled, the sea has swilled away
half of the initials and the heart
carefully embossed at the edge
of the long white cockleshell beach.
Is N loved by F or E? I can’t tell,
nor will anyone crunching after me
across these shells. Ridges above
tell of the reconstructive power
lurking in the sea, giving no chance
this half-affiance will survive.
From a balding tree a slender leaf,
its weak grip broken by thundery drops,
splats flat on the gutter’s spate
and glides towards me.
I imagine a Viking longship
sailing past grey-faced cliffs,
bearing some chieftain’s body
to its immolation on a distant strand …
Her bright red boots come splashing up the street:
the ship is gone, crushed beneath her feet.
In the morning sun, gold spangles
shimmering against a dark grey sky.
Half-stripped now, the weeping tree
is once again betraying its infirmity –
the arthritic burls that have blackened
its papery bark. A storm is on the way.
Soon the leaves will be whipped
from filigree twigs to clog the drains:
puddles will spread across the road
till the rain eases and they seep away.
The naked tree will have to shiver
as it awaits a decency of snow.
As I read your text
is etching in snow
the secret furrows
where streams once echoed
the carelessness of love.
in intimacy, stand naked,
their twigs a filigree
against brindled hills.
lash the beeches;
are tumbling down –
the dying fall