Two poems – Kate Ashton


Watch the woman – how
she brings bell peppers

to the table for their
heat, incendiary carmine,

for their glare, set down
beside brown bread, see

how they chime and flare,
like wine, like prayer. He is

a mountain she has scaled,
glimpsed from the summit

such pale peaks, cupped
tarns a-brim with evening

red like his bright hunger
in her arms or summer’s

hot nasturtium sun, parched,
clambering the sky

in hope, in faith, for love
of light in that high arch.

heavenly bodies

then you were both cycling
home across the low land
(no hiding place) along
a rush-plumed road beside
small waterways tall pink
swan-bloom’ when stars
began to fall from a wide
sky so full of wild descent
it seemed to die upon you
in mid-flight like hope

the day the earth drifted
before the sun as though
in error as if it lost its way
in that great wilderness
and chanced into the path
of heat so high that it
devoured desire and all
past life and song until creation
coldly lay silenced and old
beneath the lightless hour

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