L


L

It’s lovely. A leather handle at the heal,
a long hazel shank, and glinting silver ferrule
completed at my shoulder with a curl of golden antler.
I’ll walk a long while with this cleek.

Meanwhile, looking along the landscape, I feel something is lacking:
If this is my crook, what will my livestock be?
(Elephants? Cattle? Llamas? Leopards? Lemurs? Leverets? Lemmings?)
The fields are empty – full of nothing likely.

Initially directionless, I still feel a silent calling,
and I let my legs yield to it.
There’s a flicker in the sky as I go,
small clouds blocking and unblocking the solar glare
– their shadows follow my shadow
through fields splendid with purple flowers;
lilac and lavender, tulip and lily, violet and viola.

It’s getting late by the time I realise at last,
until I hold the staff aloft
and swirl the sky with it,
the little fluffy clouds
fleeing left and right, orbiting the invisible line.
They’ll be my flock.

I close my eyes (that kaleidoscope again)
and level the walking stick with the lie of the land,
allowing it to lead me. When I look,
it’s lined up with a lake.


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I'm writing a poem for each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet for #NaPoWriMo2018. The poems are a sequence and you can read the first ten on the following links:

A B C D E F G H I J K

The letter 'L' is a descendent of the Egyptian hieroglyph for a cattle prod.

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