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Wootton, Sue: Almanac

Portre of Wootton, Sue

Almanac (English)

 On the Manuherikia River

The almanac states the moment of sunset precisely:
9.46 pm. But here in the south we do things slowly,

drawl the final syllable. It is already ten.
An eggshell sky lies idle on the horizon.

Such precocious laziness, this reluctance, this soft-stroking
of hills with penumbral hands. The stars wait. There is nothing

they do better. Enough and whenever. Then.
Nothing happens but day dissolves. Night steps in:

black blanket.  See – there they are, the stars,
all now, full and every. The almanac gives no number

for the firmament, no dazzling total. The hills lie still,
ears pricked, shoulders poised. Just where they fell

when light fell off them, weight of shadow. From the running vein
of the river, a splash. Night insects shudder and buzz. The moon

is far under, the charts say due at dawn. This is the world ticking
a night away, local schedule. Against the lamp, moths clapping.


Uploaded byBalázs F. Attila
PublisherHourglass (Steele Roberts 2005)
Source of the quotationHourglass (Steele Roberts 2005)
Publication date