The Underground Observatory

I watch things flourish:

pale rhizomes and spores,
white vermicelli nematodes,

excreta, burgundy with berries.
There is so much succulence,

rooty treasure-troves big
as dragon bones, half a boot,

bread that is no longer bread,
cobwebbed apples, rusted lids.

At the ragged feet of walls
groundwater collects

in pockets between soil,
black as chewed tobacco.

I want to catch them all,
these gripes and shifts:

stone without the power
to rise and stone that heaves

haphazardly, the slow mill
of landfill, the threadbare

weave of my once-best suit.


from Kitsune (Cinnamon Press, 2015), © Jane McKie 2015, used by permission of the author

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Jane McKie downloads

1Some Very Curious Plants

£0.89

2The Plant’s Chemical Laboratory I & II

£0.89

3The Strength of Plants

£0.89

4Curious Ways of Breathing

£0.89

5Heat that Defies Imagination

£0.89

6Not Like Us

£0.89

7Old Inhabitants of Our Home

£0.89

8Strange Ears and What They Hear

£0.89

9An Ant’s Strange Guest

£0.89

10Creatures That Emit ‘Cold’ Light

£0.89

11A White City Underground

£0.89

12Splendours of the Past

£0.89

13A City of Floating Houses

£0.89

14How Strange This Seems

£0.89

15Nightmare Denizens of an Unexplored World

£0.89

16How They Move

£0.89

17The Inland Lighthouse

£0.89

18Every Town Creates Its Saint

£0.89

19Garden of Bedsteads

£0.89

20We Are All Wild Beasts

£0.89

21A Feral Child Inside

£0.89

22The Underground Observatory

£0.89

23Leper Window, St Mary the Virgin

£0.89

24Viking Horse-bone Ice Skates

£0.89

25Encounter in the Ice Hotel

£0.89

26Lake above the Clouds

£0.89

27The Wind in the Mountains

£0.89

28We Can’t Escape the Fact That We’re Not Enough for Each Other

£0.89

29Archipelago

£0.89

30The Little Magisterium

31Midsummer

£0.89

32Winter Bread

£0.89

33Scottish Voodoo

£0.89

34Rannoch

£0.89

35Tentsmuir Point

£0.89

36The Zephyr Aunts

£0.89

37Gift from Queenie, May She Rest in Peace

£0.89

38The Boy Who Found Fear

£0.89

39Sunrise over Lunan Bay

£0.89

40The Specious Present

£0.89

411976 Kodak

£0.89