Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

The Wake

by Anthony Watts

In Adelaide, the ashes of a man
Pass for what he was. In Somerset,
A few friends gather round a fire
In a fold of the Brendon Hills. After the storm
The unburdened sky quiesced and certain trees
And elevated backdrop fields are touched with gold.

Someone reads a poem. It breaks the surface
Of the silence like a flower. A joint is rolled
And passed around. More poems - shyly reverent
Offerings. Then, one by one,
The anecdotes come out like stars
To shed their brief light on the absent one.

Time ripens to the moment when a man
Unwraps a flute-like instrument and stands
Facing eternity. From the world's prow
He offers up an Amerindian prayer
To the Spirit in the Sky - flute poised
To release the sacred body of its song

Which rises now - a pentatonic psalm
Amplified by silence and the hills.
As dusk flows in from the Vale of Taunton Deane,
They pile fresh logs on the fire, which comes alive
With a dancing and flickering brightness. A flight away,
In Adelaide, the risen sun stands high.

Added: 09.04.2009