Morwenstow, June 1863 by Angela Williams

All day, Hawker, I have been trying to conjure you
Out of the ghosts of your things –
Your stout boots and claret-coloured coat,
The lantern and the cross-handled walking stick.

Now it is night and the pale disc
Of Scotia’s shield gleams under the moon,
Cats prowl among the boats and figureheads
And Carrow, sweet-natured beast, rests in the hay-smelling dark.

Alone in your study, a dog at your feet,
You are dipping a swan quill
Into a pot of blackest ink
While your tea grows cold in its cup.

Your scalp bristles with salt and angels,
No man ever was as tried as you are,
But you press on through the tumble of words
To the place that is yours to reach.

Hawker, don’t leave the room,
Don’t let the pen falter.
Someone is waiting for what you will write.


© Angela Williams, August 2011