We paddle head over ears in a field of yellow flowers,with only heads surfaced in an unplanned discourse,attuned, swimming in meadow meandering amongold crypts and tombs. I mistrust their shapes, theirsepulchral postures made of bath stone, chalked
extravaganza. You can tell, I haven’t yet wrapped bodiesin linen, you smile. It gives a shape like that, and facingme you cut a sarcophagus out of the moist air craftingthe swift choreography of a corpse, outlining my outline.These lime stones are hollow, look. We stare through
their tunnels, sliding our hands in their craters for namesand dates, for one or two initials; but none. Have you,have you done it before? In the bare space only a sliceof a face, fraction of a glare, mouth half open, your voiceslips through. You laugh. Who do you think prepares them?
You dip your finger into a soft headstone coated with deeppigments of lichen, orange, red and brown. Like catacombs’network, complicated under the microscope’s lens. They livewith their photosynthetic partner – you say brushing yellowpollen off my skin – who produces food for them from sunlight.
by Ágnes Lehóczky
Copyright © Ágnes Lehóczky, 2008. 'Ecology of the lichen' is reprinted by permission of Ágnes Lehóczky and Egg Box.
Ágnes Lehóczky is an Hungarian-born poet and
translator. She completed her Masters in English and Hungarian
Literature at Pazmany Peter University of Hungary in 2001 and an MA with
distinction in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in
2006. She holds a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from UEA. She has
two short poetry collections in Hungarian, Station X (2000) and Medallion (2002), published by Universitas, Hungary.
Ágnes's first full collection, Budapest to Babel,
was published by Egg Box in 2008. (Click on the link to hear her read
from the collection, and to read more poems from this book.) She was the
2009 recipient of the Arthur Welton Poetry Award and the winner of the
Daniil Pashkoff Prize 2010 in poetry. She is currently working on her
second collection to be published by Egg Box in 2011, and her collection
of essays on the poetry of Ágnes Nemes Nagy is to be published this
year by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Ágnes currently teaches creative
writing on the Masters course at the University of Sheffield.
Egg Box is a small, independent poetry publisher
based in Norwich, run by poet Nathan Hamilton. It is rapidly
establishing a strong reputation for its freshness of approach and keen
eye for talented newcomers. Click here to visit Egg Box's website.
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