Angle Shades in Winter
Poet: Michael Thomas
August set this moth aside
and forgot to retrieve it,
being occupied with scoring cloud
on easterly windows,
netting its brace of provinces
in afternoons brittle or dank.
So the weak-eyed days brought it
to the dust around the log store,
where, under a neck of kindling,
it opened and closed its vinegar wings
like hands in uncertain prayer.
We moved it beneath the pittosporum,
a bush perhaps as flummoxed by its name
as the moth was to be stuck in the pink
among the marbling chills,
below the shunt of bull’s breath from the flue.
By morning it was gone…cat, vole,
some other brief extravagance of night.
Or maybe the ghost of summer’s end,
rising up at last to claim its own,
found nothing but a tickle or so of wind
from wings powder-dry, spanned,
intent on April.
The angle shades is usually seen between late spring and autumn.
Michael W. Thomas’s latest novel is Pilgrims at the White Horizon. His poetry collections include Batman’s Hill, South Staffs (Flipped Eye, 2013), Come to Pass (Oversteps, 2015) and Under Smoky Light (Offa's Press, 2020). His work has appeared in The Antioch Review, Critical Survey and the TLS.