honoured treefrogsa treefrog

No Such Thing

Barry MacSweeney

Grassblade glintstreak in one of the last mornings
before I come to meet you, Pearl,
as the rain shies.  How bright and sudden the dogrose,
briefly touched by dew, flaming
between the deep emerald and smoky blue
Dogrose, pink as Pearl's lips, no
city chemist or salon.  We set
our colour charts in the rain
by feldspar heaved from the streambed;
cusloppe, burn peat in summer
and wild trampled marigolds.
Pearl, somewhere there is a stern receiver
and all accounts are open in the rain.
Once more through the heifer muck
and into the brilliant cooling of the watermint beds.
Sky to the west today, where you are, Pearl, is
a fantastic freak bruise, which hurts the world.
Coward rain scared of our joy refuses to come.
Deep despair destroys and dents delight
now that I have pledged my future to you, Pearl,
from the edge of the roaring bypass, from
the home of the broken bottle and fiery
battleground of the seiged estate.

From Pearl, reprinted in The Book of Demons (Bloodaxe, 1997) and Wolf Tongue (Bloodaxe, 2003).