Sally Evans

The Crook

The garden has a crook
like an elbow –
it ran between two lanes
used to bring cows from pastures
on the high slopes –
above our Swiss-type village.

And in that crook
we placed a greenhouse
to grow tomatoes.
Beside that greenhouse
we placed a round construction –
from the roughest kind of auction,

the poles of a gazebo
that make an Italianate
rounded cupola
to the nave of the greenhouse
where plants grow lush
and the mind turns a corner.

Beside that double temple
there’s a junk pillar
white as Paestum,
confusion of countries now,
garden sneaking round
tomatoes under glass.

In all this alignment
nobody sees the crook.
The path proceeds naturally
past the greenhouse temple
towards the alpine tops,
and explodes in a view.

The Hidden Stars

They are more hidden in daytime
than hidden at night in the towns
where all the streetlights blink out
in substitute for sun,
a blanket, a curtain of light
that falls on the houses and clouds,
so nothing is seen of those heavens
that to us are active
above green fields.

On empty roads of silence
we wait for the sun to set.
There is no mist, it will pass
behind the mountain,
darkness will escalate
and pinpricks of light appear,
worlds of huge size whose detail
space stations variably probe,
mechanically exploring
their barrenness or action.

They’re our remaining unknown
hopes and fears, these flares,
in distance of light,
vastness reflected by the sun,
all that remains unchanged
from our great-grandparents,
from earlier sojourners.
The same primary vision
from wildest outposts,
these skyward infinities
by night, by day.


Like it was this time last year.
Like it has been for fifteen years.
Like it isn’t raining, the sun
slants west and hits the mountain,
as though I were sitting on the froth of a cloud.
As though the cool evening would last for ever
like a car with nothing wrong with it
on a long trip round Scotland,
at times of the day when traffic is easy,
at satisfying seasons.
Like the world seems calm and silent
although it is not calm and silent,
Like the trees are not saying anything
although they are.

An indication of the poet’s helplessness without metaphor

The computer does not set a pattern she copies.
The dream does not reflect the life she lives
nor does the weather synchronise with her moodiness.
She is herself, unique, under the skies.
Her adventures are double negatives.
With nothing to compare her to
there is not a word of poetry to be said about her
but only a blog of facts and guesses,
a reference list of where she went.
It is utterly pointless:
it is like
am climbing away from this world
to die in a cupboard



This poem needs a Matador
to throw red cloaks in the air
with actors’ gestures,
to go for the kill and bring blood,
to shock and humble,
perhaps slightly romance,
to take great risks with a bull
who might gore the assailant,
bright little man that he is.
His job is to kill the bull.
He scares me. I’m afraid of rapiers.
All this poem needs
is a Matador and a Smile,
it needs figures of speech.

Displaying Lit&PhilSally.jpgSally Evans lives in Callander, Scotland. She is a well know poet, published in books, magazines and more recently on the internet. She edits the broadsheet Poetry Scotland and  the new zine Keep Poems Alive.

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