The bells move through the moving trees:
the dead are moving. Long coming
paint flakes from the cottage wall; dusk builds
and swells through the limbs of the yew trees.
Below, the granite sundial past out of time
corners a bed of flowers.
Smoke rose as darkness fell.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch was martyred
devoured skin and bone
by wild beasts — only
the blood on the moonlit sand
black and soaking: the laughter
of a lion’s ribcage left.
If I fought wild animals in Ephesus
with only human hope, there are no echoes.
Darkly on a mirror figures shift and slant:
headlight and lamp. Outside stays.
‘That’ she said, and lit her eyes
with a life other than this, pointing
nowhere. Her lip caught on barbed wire
and the field going…
There are two stories related
or unrelated. And if there are,
there are not reasons comprehended:
his slow head back
his emptiness; sees
my art is not without purpose.
~ Isaac Nowell
Isaac Nowell was born in the small fishing town of Newlyn in Cornwall, and is currently reading English Literature at Balliol College, Oxford. He is working on a dissertation that focuses on the aesthetic theory of W.H. Auden, in between writing his own poetry.