POETRY: Walking into View and Black Dog Days by Alyson Hallett

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Roberto Matta – The Mirror of Cronos (El espejo de Cronos), 1998

I met [Lumin editor] Beau at a meditation at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. I was there with my fifth migrating stone – which is part of a project called The Migration Habits of Stones where I take stones around the world with a line of poetry carved into them.  I’ve written a few books too. My website is: Alyson Hallett : The Stone Library


Black Dog Days

When death rumbled its carriage along the road
and pulled up at my door, I ran out to
meet it. At last, I thought, not a moment
too late or too soon. I hitched up my skirt and went
to place my foot on the rung but the black
and red plumed horses stepped forwards. They
were waiting for a different daughter, for another
door to open. I stepped away, curiously unrelieved.
I’d anticipated a swift journey, the comfort of
a velvet seat, everything outside rushing by
a small eye-shaped window. Villages, islands,
fish packed in ice. Days later I mourned
the absence of euphoria. The uplift that didn’t
come with life, with the little birds that sang
each morning. I grieved the loss of my own
departure, observed the bleakness of a spring
that laid light along the backs of plumed horses
or lifted crocus stems from the ground.


Walking Into View

I’ve wanted to do this for years.
Leave my car by the mast
and walk down the A39.
It’s different walking
a world into view, two feet
instead of four black wheels.
Thick winter folds inside
December trees, two buzzards
wheel.There’s a whoosh of cars
and a whipping breeze. On and on
until Glastonbury Tor appears –
its towered top a shock
of height among so much
flatness. My dad taught me
to fly here. Body square
to the wind, arms open wide,
riding the air like a dragon.