THE RIVER IN SUMMER
by Iain Twiddy    Leaf-fallsThe trees are squandering their leaves,
crisp red and gold notes, thin as smoke,
backed by a huge blue bank of sky.They pile up, add to the childish stash
I would kick through, catch, flap away,
hoard in the brace of white pages;they set down wealth to pension me
when I am barely memory,
when my sight is miserlyas a needle, so I can’t tell
if I’ve reached the edge of the forest
like a rich man leaving the kingdom.     The River in SummerI want to tell of the river in summer,
of the field grass hissing and cricketing,
of the duckweed bubbling, dragging the flow
as slow as limestone, of the stripweed
flagging underneath, sinewing like trout
which seemed like stretches of bed-mud come to life;
tell of the flirt and glug, the deep reed suck,
of the willow fountain, chestnuts ballooned,
the mill-bank an undercurrent of wasps,
of the haze of flies like a mist of thirst.
I want to tell of the river in summer,
the weight of every word hitting my tongue
with the same recklessness, the same playful
relish as the river then accepting the stone.     The Butterfly BookLast time on Skype, he showed me
two caterpillars, green, squishy and striped,
thin as the fingers through which
they were wriggling, and to which his head
was breathlessly tilted.
He fetched the book in, opened it up,
told me all that happens with the leaves,
the sleep and the chrysalis,
or the mouthful way he says it.Now, his fourth birthday, he’s called in
from a garden loud with sun.
Words squirm through the cables, the squabbles;
I’m not sure he can hear. But I ask.
Any butterflies yet?
And he twigs, smiles brightly, rues his lips,
shrugs his upturned palms out, splitting
the winter in which I’ve been chrysalised,
leaving me butterflied with light.   About the Author:IainIain Twiddy studied literature at university. His poems have been published in The Poetry ReviewPoetry Ireland ReviewThe London Magazine and elsewhere. He has written two critical studies of contemporary poetry. 

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