The Yew Walk

What is the distance 

between us, you said

when we slept naked

but barely touched;

the quilt thrown back,

streaks of moth-dust

across your breast.

 

That night I dreamt

you brushed against

the trees of the yew-walk;

the strange fine pollen dust

shook out,

sifted most eerily

inside your dress.

 

I do not know

why its green-gold

so long unloosed

kindled your nakedness -

or why I woke to kiss

the estranging dust

the single flesh.


from The Lady and the Hare: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2003), © Pauline Stainer, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

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

Recordings

Pauline Stainer

Pauline Stainer Downloads

1A Haze Held by Thorns

£0.89

2Border-crossing

£0.89

3Bystander at the visitation

£0.89

4Caliban and the Blue Moon

£0.89

5Coleridge goes scuba-diving

£0.89

6Finisterre

£0.89

7Flora in Calix-light

£0.89

8Gyrfalcon

£0.89

9Holy family with three hares

£0.89

10How the snow-leopard became

£0.89

11Insight

£0.89

13Lepers at Dunwich

£0.89

12Landfall

£0.89

14'Mantegna's Hares

£0.89

15Mountain Bikers

£0.89

16Mozart at the Falconry Lodge 1763

£0.89

17Mrs John Dowland

£0.89

18Onsen

£0.89

19Outsleeping the Monsoon

£0.89

20Peregrini

£0.89

21Prima Nix

£0.89

22Quandal

£0.89

23Reading by snowlight

£0.89

24Reading the Light

£0.89

25Rimbaud in Zanzibar

£0.89

26Scarecrow

£0.89

27Shibui

£0.89

28Sighting the Slave Ship

£0.89

29Sourin

£0.89

30Swans alighting

£0.89

31The Blessing

£0.89

32The Colony

£0.89

33The dislocation

£0.89

34The Druids of Primrose Hill

£0.89

35The Falconers Bride

£0.89

36The Honeycomb

£0.89

37The Ice-Pilot Speaks

£0.89

38The Infinite Act

£0.89

39The nature of the game

£0.89

40The Queen of Sutton Hoo

£0.89

41The Yew Walk

£0.89

42Thomas Traherne in the Orient

£0.89

43Tiger facing the mist

£0.89

44The Crossing

£0.89

Books by Pauline Stainer