Ian Brook


Fears and Wonders

What was the dark doing
And what was the dog doing barking about it?
As though anybody cared. We could take bets
On when the leaves might fall, or flit south

At midnight on a whim no one knows about.
The cathexis of pain. The synthesis
Of each unsettled consciousness with each until
The dogs think better of questioning the darkness

And only the misguided remain,
Articulating each terror and each definition,
Each possible name given to the vast
Communicable space beyond their windows.

Sometimes a gunshot, and our attention pours
Back to its point of origin like a bullet. The beast
Fears and wonders, buries itself a little deeper
In dense undergrowth. Bury yourself

In the butt of a cigarette, in the body
Or the bottle you happen to find yourself next to
Until nothing stirs, not even a name
Or the question of a name, strung,

Above some infamous, lonesome valley.


We learnt this thing by heart,
Numbered it in order of a significance
No one explained to us. Some piece of it
Stayed with us through winter, self-contained,
A fluid cavity in ice. Sometimes its face
Pressed against the window and the room
Drained of color. Most times it remained
Invisible, naked to the human eye. We waited
For the earth to heal over like a grave
Or a promise. When the days turned green
We searched for her. When the moon turned blue

We stopped.