Winter Thoughts


Jane Lovell is an award-winning British poet whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. Her latest collection is the prize-winning God of Lost Ways (Indigo Dreams Press). Jane also writes for Dark MountainPhotographers Against Wildlife Crime and Elementum Journal. She lives in Kent and is Writer-in-Residence at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

 of geese 
 We watch them leave, dragging the sky
 like chevrons of tide around a pole,
 an updraft of invisible stars
 streaming behind them,
 ancient light infused with visions
 of their ancestors,
 now bone, or fragments of bone,
 trapped in ice:
 tiny flutes packed with frozen air.
 of whales
 Put your ear to the shore,
 your cheek against this rock;
 they are below you and above you.
 Hear them winding and unwinding
 their strange harmonies
 of waves and tides, laments
 woven by the sea dislocating
 arcs of bone.
 of caribou
 Startled, they circle downwind,
 tails and heads held high.
 Towards the lakes, paths narrow,
 force them to follow,
 mother and calf,
 its roaming eyes, unsteady hooves.
 With arrows and spears,
 we thrust and pierce hide.
 They buck and stumble,
 eyes roll skyward,
 the great heads swing and roar,
 stub-teeth yellow with lichen.
 When they fall, the hills shudder.