by Peter Riley

Peter Riley

Grace and honour descend the hill, seeking
the human heart, brushing aside the wasps
and folding that knotted academy in clay hands . . .

Our front window looked out two miles over
pasture and woodland thick with the sheen of equity
that without a word edits thought against
greed and fantasy, pale emblems shelved
at the field edges, fading nightly into dream. We held
onto this like grim death, we sank our trust in

curtained arbours in a stone house and formed a child,
who mothered us through opening Sundays.

And two miles away was a great ridge, a dark
green mass strung with white stone walls,
at its highest point an ancestral grave, a circular
fate capsule of long stones. It was always there
though the light came and failed. At night the ridge
was a grey sleeper against the sky and white messages
flew into the front window, pierced the night and

focused the day, calling to the mind, calling
to the cusped heart, calling together
the kind forces that hunt us to death.

Last updated July 20, 2021