Northwords Now Issue 37

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Dormitory

by Jon Miller

Once again I lie down between earth and sky,
smothered in the underfurl of leaf and drifting mist,
sunk like some blastula in winter’s diminishing.

Birches glisten. Fine hairs and fingers of roots
wicker my skin till I am hung under a hill of slow months,
tuned to bats’ flickering chitterclicks.

A slowworm curls me a wedding ring.
Cave spiders unravel a maze across my brow,
my hair a nest for glowworms.

Moths land, lift, hover over me; and from the forest
a ghost of antlers breaches the shadows,
turns into itself and vanishes.

Come the thaw and softening earth, I’ll unbuckle
grass and bracken, exhale the moor’s black clog
to loom up out of ooze and trance

and, as the sun writes a yellow line on the ridge,
step down from the hill, illuminated, articulate.