Now by Rachael Clyne


chants the rook, NOW NOW
to the other nuns that never left
and the bass throat throb

of raven winging northwards
to the alpha omega place
the place of before the beginning
beginning of the end.

We wait for these convent ruins
to speak. Snails sleep the day
on ledges of orange granite,
dark slate, curtained by fern and toadflax.

When I leave, a drop of this nectar
goes with me in the phial gathered
from such places; like landing on Zakros
from Egypt, that step to the offering room.

I knew it at once, only three thousand years
since I placed my foot there
announced a wish for knowledge
and all that went between – as nothing.

How I long for another such nothing,
the chirrup of temple birds,
sparrows that hug the walls of
Phillae, Minoa, Menajdra, Iona,
the honeyed hum of their bees.


Rachael Clyne lives in Glastonbury. Her new collection, Singing at the Bone Tree, concerns our search for the wild self and won Indigo Dreams’, George Stevens Memorial Prize 2013. Rachael belongs to both local groups and the online poetry group, 52 Anthologies: Book of Love and Loss, The Listening Walk. Magazines: Poetry Space, Stare’s Nest, Interpreters House, Domestic Cherry. Collections: She Who Walks with Stones and Sings.  


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