Sunday, 9 June 2013

In True Colours (‘The Forest Fire’ by Piero di Cosimo) by Olivia Byard

I have always known such creatures
prowled in the forest; felt their flint eyes
watching; sensed them stir behind
thick boughs. Now here is proof.

Spilled out by fire into the fading day
they scatter in search of other lairs.
The cannier, with human face, look
almost shamed to be exposed like this;

yet lions and lumbering bears
race out unthinking beside a bellowing
domestic cow. In such a scurry
nightmares dissipate

to their fragmented parts. Yet
when, the fire tamed, plants begin
to reclaim those scorched-out tracks,
these creatures sneak back in,

conceal themselves in undergrowth
nest among burgeoning branches,
and wait, with silent intent,
for the dark dreams to quicken.

Olivia Byard

Published by The Flambard press

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