Danielle Hooke Goodbody

 

ABYSS OF THE BIRDS

 

Such little care, the song of evening. Dark sky of leaves

filtering rain into its second life, where the hated bird

still sings. This is the back of the synagogue, but it is not

the park where the memorial tree is planted.

 

In the tiny abyss of home, the ceilings bright white &

dry, a filtered south east window, strangled indirect

 sun. Sat very still, the view in to & out of everything

obscured. Don’t come too near. The threat of war

 

come & gone, the muscle ache of immunity,

of the steering arm weak in forgotten trajectory.

The writing arm, as if ever at play. The hand not

holding the leash reaches down for a single green

 

feather, lost from the wing of a lost bird of Paradise.

& in the evening, the sun behind the house, it is safe

to raise the blind again. The North Sea at war

with the shore & the horizon

 

                                                       What little evil there is

 

*Olivier Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time

 

 

SEPTEMBER

             The Hunt

 

All the chords we hum come out from under the hunter’s fingers.

We, the knives of the village, a phrase of breeze forgotten

 

This book went all the way home & came all the way back

& once it was away again it spoke with the rage of trumpets

 

Knives of the village. Palms on shoulders aim us

at prey & the scope sings such a familiar song, the prey

 

comes on steady paws, on heavy hooves towards the cruel phrase

which simply sings in everything. This village of young knives

 

which raised a wolf the colour of the afterlife of oak leaves.

He wakes from the cave, hunter. Grown, he comes howling your chords

 

 

 

*Tchaikovsky, The Seasons

 

 

 

NOTES TOWARD A PRAIRIE EXPLORATION

 

Prayer, of course, to cross the prairie

                           When weaponised?     well      regulated

              pr—                                                                      air                to keep                   & bear

                                       prey

                                                       across the

                                                                                  pr—      eyrie

 

                                                                                                                  shall not

re     —     pay                                                                                                                [ ]

             prise     free        [from] state

                                                                                                                                              infringe[ ]

                           (is there still a clearing calm enough for such worn boots)

                                                                                   Prai —se

                                          (in these late days, the sky is a staked claim)

 

                                                    This is my great dark field now. Somewhere in the churning harvest

                                                                                                               hides a track to the lost cargo of the

                                                                                                                     horizon

 

                                                                                                                          funny thing is, I never wanted

                                                                                                                                                      to drive a train

 

 

                          Raise

the blind to paler waves, a colour that could only be crossed

by innocent feet. A home-recording of “Wildflowers”— who deserves

deepest cover? Think of the wheat that would grow on a ship of souls, as if

in that mellow gold there was not also the anxious orange

                                                                                                              horizon

Windmills & limestone, born to be a paper boat

in the flooded quarry. Train track through big woods,

big woods at edge of remnant prairie. It was a horn the whole town

heard only in sleep, but one night one person was awake to watch

the train howl to a stop behind the White Hen, to see the engineer

climb back into the cab with a black coffee

                                                                                                                 & what clouds does the engine cut

                                                                                                                             before it comes home again

 

What hasn’t changed—            the angry open spaces,

the garage & the factory town cover band, the empty bottle

& the way it longs for the brick wall

 

                                                                    pr

                                                                                ey

                                                                                      pr a         yer

                                                                                               irie

 

 

Danielle Hooke Goodbody is originally from Chicago, but has lived in the UK since 2009. She is a PhD student at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Recent work appears in Golden Handcuffs Review and Molly Bloom.