At first I thought it next door’s saw
starting on their stack of tree trunks.
But it was a queen
buzzing over open books
as if searching for an exact word
on which to light
– somnolent sluggish drowsy –
anchor her middle legs over her wings
and not turn a page until spring.
She would pare the words
and shred their letters, roll around
her regal mouth re-write them as a nest.
Her temporary rest on Margaret Atwood
stung me to respond. Clive James, I thought,
is not long gone and Seamus would not
conscience such a deed,
so in the end the Oxford’s weight of words
in common usage circa 1983
was brought to bear, pupating her into a
yellow (colour between green and orange in the spectrum) sticky (tending or intended to stick to what is touched)
splat (crush or squash).
Nikki is originally from Northern Ireland and currently lives in Scotland. She holds an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study from Dundee University and has had poems in journals and anthologies in print and online including Poetry Scotland, Acumen, Northwords Now, Under the Radar, the Lake and Scotia Extremis.