Foxes and daisies (a villanelle)

In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes
Autumn brings you back in the ache of burning leaves
I brought whispers for your skin and daisies for your hair

In knotted threads and twined, without end or crown or throne
But this bed of cautious roses and dully gleaming stones
In the fields the foxes watch with yellow eyes

Can I hold you for a moment in a mask of sepia?
Before it falls from my hand to a soughing wind
I brought whispers for your skin, and daisies for your hair

I think, perhaps, you were never really here
But hear again your soft-caught vixen cry
In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes

How they approached, with equal parts temerity and care
To tremble at your outstretched hand
I brought whispers for your skin, and daisies for your hair

So strange, that they have come
Here again to say goodbye
In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes
I brought whispers for your skin, and a crown of daisies

For your hair


Beautiful, beautiful

Clothes are all wrong

Cut a thistle from my hair

Fed it to the morning fire

Took a ripple from a pond

In your hands it came alive

Startled, let it slip

In that starry colour, fled

Sawdust horses

Pull at the reins of sleep
you curve away
caparisoned horses
jangling with 
a head thrown preen
motes and stars pinwheeling


I thought I had you
the circus brightness
of your smile
the acrobats of laughter


But, a rain dull echoing
of shod iron feet


On the roof
a mocking skeleton dancing


It is hard to know
if redoubts
are weak as second thoughts


The shapes you left in sawdust 
now uncertain