Tag Archives: prose poem

Red Fox in Coyote Lands

June 2017 USA Utah >> Idaho >> Oregon >> Washington

The higgledy-piggledy fences sit lop-sided on small hilltops. The grass is drying out for summer, dotted with green shrubs clinging to the soil. There are animals in fields. Horses, lithe and muscular, cows with horns ruminate, goats cluster with mischief. The hills give way to rocky drops tied together with powerlines. The only constant as we trundle through a changing landscape. There are farms. Graveyards for broken down machines. A museum of yesterdays. An abandoned power station sits in a gulley. Crumbled stonework and strange shapes remain. Like a ruined castle for the fuel of the past. We walk towards a future which may swing left or right. The only certainty is uncertainty. We’re running perilously low on gas. But maybe just maybe, with enough downhill roads, we can coast it to the next town.

January

January came in from the cold and parked herself on the sofa. Somedays she was grey and full of gloom. Letting the winter in. Icy teardrops suspended above fog. Other days she was sunny and crisp and full of an impassioned energy that kept moving, kept seeking, reinventing existence with a frosty glaze that made dark tarmac and dull concrete sparkle like a solar system. Hypnotizing eyes and imaginations. Infinite and magical and crunchy underfoot.

But she struggled. She struggled with the blue mists that came in off the sea and settled on the hills. Settled around her shoulders. Heavy and damp. The weight of it sank inside her. Into the small muscles and crevices. So that even when it didn’t sit visibly on her shoulders, it was still there. Waiting. When the sky was heavy with cloud and icy rain lashed the world, she could only look down at her feet and shuffle on through. Biding her time.

But even on the gloomy days, January had hope. She had to. Only a strong will and swarthy heart can survive the bleak long winters that so tormented. The days when darkness seemed to close in almost just after it left. The days when a kind word from a stranger made all the difference to the morning light inside her eyeballs. She would stare at the sky, letting the light fill her pupils until they were full and warm. Letting the surface of each iris feel the chill wind and the glance of sleet. The brighter days were always better, always happier. They made her look up more and she would see the trees and tops of buildings. Stark pleasing shapes and the many colours of the winter light as dusk drew close.

On these days January was not sad. Was not blue. Was not grey. She was just January.

© Kirsty Fox 2017