Arthur Machen’s Fairies by Steve Parker

Arthur Machen’s Fairies 
Steve Parker


his body went walking about quite empty,
without any sense in it
—Arthur Machen (The White People)

on the hill I wondered what was true
—Arthur Machen (The White People)


between an infant boy calling
out and a car’s squeal at a bedside Astir of Eaves
the thing utters soft soft
soft
as the soft Nexus of Wind at Dusk

upon high—black and orange waters

troubled in outflow by a slow heft of fells
into sluices and frogways and culverts there
and creeps and collects
soft-feeding of becks downhill

(of long Peat fires they sing they rupt)
as vaccary walls they are shoved askew

eek now soft ages of cattle
in all their goits adrift

[arrayed all thither golden in lichens]

of black mosses now of the wind’s caress
are the Abiding Stones over Wycoller
declaiming of churns
and loud they gurgle as underground water
at night

and at night even at night’s governance
and with slow Thunder unfolding of the sinks
the shakes and rills that brim the unquiet seeps
nursing with night the soft touching

the strokes and yields the waft the heave
of sphagnum of samphire

and samphire its listening Wainscots its secret ways
its faery-breath’d fluttering heather

purple its wainstones its aorta its races

its races updrifted in a velveteen of consumption
down the wing-wet years

—whoever then what cloven throat
sputtered there and spake and wefted
in that inwoven space such a Waiting and a Word

—and in all its slow-gathering Silence?

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