Etching of a Line of Trees
in memoriam John Goodfellow Glenday
I carved out the careful absence of a hill and a hill grew.
I cut away the fabric of the trees
and the trees stood shivering in the darkness.
When I had burned off the last syllables of the wind,
a fresh wind rose and lingered.
But because I could not bring myself
to remove you from that hill,
you are no longer there. How wonderful it is
that neither of us managed to survive
when it was love that surely pulled the burr
and love that gnawed its own shape from the burnished air
and love that shaped that absent wind against a tree.
Some shadow's hands moved with my hands
and everything I touched was turned to darkness
and everything I could not touch was light.
from Grain by John Glenday, Picador £8.99 with a nice cover.
The best thing I've ever read about the process of print.