Poetry: Fisheye by Nicholas Battey | Cassandra Voices

Poetry: Fisheye by Nicholas Battey

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Fisheye

I, smudge in the eyescape of others,
As my trowel lodges in mulch,
Palm-sore, snuggle the quiet bulbs
Into the trickling earth which inhumes us,
While these, artfully coned, only swoon
To consecrate a humble bloom.

The sun paints everslant shadows all day
In this great sphere of transition
Centring nowhere, where I witness
Clattering jackdaws, black hands at edges of vision;
A pigeon diving to the ancient oak
Descants over a cloudsong.

I work head down and I do not care
About the crunching crowds along
The path, children puddle-jumping,
All actions an acting in the long
Blind sleep of self, beneath the bronze Scots pines,
Aplomb, adamantine

Sentinels, setiferous fists raised to the hollow blue,
Heedless of a conscious cry.
Hedges patrol, keep watch on me,
Vain and stretched in fisheye,
Where the early frost becomes a forest of drops
On the blinkless, lashy grass.

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About Author

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Nicholas Battey is currently employed as a part-time gardener for the National Trust, and was previously Professor of Plant Development at the University of Reading where he wrote research papers, co-edited and contributed to the popular science books 30 Second Biology and 30 Second Evolution, and co-wrote the textbook Biological Diversity: Exploiters and Exploited. He self-published a collection of his poems in 2020 and his music can be found on his website.

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