A spiral (or certain themes revisited)


The largest square is for the sky. We have a great little
room for seeing it, for watching storms come. Bending trees
and oversized clouds emphatically going . . . All formula but it’s
still a thrill, especially when the room fills golden.


You say what is a rook? and I run to see it. Images of a
‘gregarious’ bird and one blank-looking chess piece. Each bird
has a face that looks just so old, like dozens of birds in one.


Towards an essence, or to a multitude? That’s a biggish


Think of the rook —
from nothing, to bristling, to
flight . . .
Whatever is between zero and one is so astonishing. From
sitting to
dancing . . .


At the moment, each day’s arc can be too closely observed.
The mornings are okay and the evenings may eventually turn
out alright, too (little curling tail). But the afternoons are treacherous.

(5.2) Bobbing onewards on my bits of wood (clutching something —
a shoebox?)
while everything hastens otherwards.


The clouds have been painted on and I can tell in which order
the colours: YELLOW, then a PINK that eclipses the yellow,
spoils of GREY, patches of INDIGO BLUE. In ‘Girl with a Pearl
Earring’, remember how CF says — what colour are the clouds, and
SJ says — WHITE . . . and he says — what colour are the clouds, and
she looks again and starts to list YELLOW etc. If loyal to my mind,
I’d have to say: Johannes Vermeer is no Dick Bruna . . .

(6.2) Too silly I know. *Ha*, *ha*, la, la — —


— — flippin’ o’er the pages, rustling
the paper stacks, towering the boxes, teasing the
sticking-out feathers, rankling, rankling as the wind does the trees.

(7.2) A mess, a good mess,
and I am getting somewhere.

(7.3) One is the sky, two is a spread-winged rook . . . nine is a
driblet of coffee ,


The white square of the mind eludes me, so I’m going for something
a bit Last Days of Chez Nous. There’s a decent still of the three
women at the table, all with reddish hair, red wines, tomato pasta and
green beans, a bitter yellow tablecloth. (Kerry Fox in an emerald green
top). Its notions of what’s free are obvious and clunky but
ring true: STRONG dancing,
getting in the car to drive off, a Sydney that’s a touch lurid,
finally walking out to find
the base of
the spire.


Oh, no — I’ve no
religion (!) except, today,
the rook.

(9.2) I’ll return to the rook
now a star, now
a pinprick.


Read the rest of Poetry in Lockdown, edited by Toby Fitch and Melody Paloma

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Leah Muddle

Leah Muddle is an artist, poet and would-be retail worker. Her writing can be found in journals such as Cordite, Plumwood Mountain and The Slow Canoe. She is also the publisher of Shower Books chapbooks including, It’s what we’re already doing, in collaboration with Elena Gomez, Ella O’Keefe, Melody Paloma, Sian Vate and Emily Stewart.

More by Leah Muddle ›

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