Caroline Clark resides in Lewes after spending some years in Montreal and Moscow. Her first collection, Saying Yes in Russian, was published by Agenda Editions in 2012.
On Looking Out to Hamsey
A point in the fair distance,
a marker in the land below,
the churchtower silver-grey
above frostpaved river plains.
Village, property, stone. Lanes
turned permanent long ago.
Here, the safe solid structures.
Names, dates, bloodties. Contours,
cracks, places you can step inside.
The rise of things. Insects, last light.
Late trees cast black with height.
What is far, what is near. Hamsey
in the flood plains below.
Saying Yes in Russian
Place the tip of your tongue
against the roof of your mouth
pressing the point just behind your teeth.
Push up, jaw tough, eyes hard.
Make as if to say no, nyet,
think of the negative n of never, at least, not yet.
In this position and state of mind,
swiftly release the tongue forward and down;
you must surprise it, yourself and the one who asked.
Then turn that heavy knock of a n
into the delicate etiquette of da.
[‘Saying Yes in Russian’: previously published in Agenda and her first collection, Saying Yes in Russian, Agenda Editions, 2012. ‘On Looking out to Hamsey’: previously published in PN Review and her first collection, Saying Yes in Russian, Agenda Editions, 2012.]
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