B. T. Joy

Spring In Anatolia

It’s spring and a sound
blossom returns
the heart to invention.
Wasted since its birth the mule
adopted a smaller sound:

perfect pears drooped in heavy
fire-bright and mottled yellow
on the peartrees of Anatolia.
Names in Latin and in Arabic
crowd a green mane of leaves;

voices and voiceless bells.
Doors open at this hour.
Resistance slows. Old women
wear their sunday shawls and men
smoke tobacco and play backgammon;

wet with tap-water: cold, real figs;
his friend’s hand poised on the white.
A slow blossom, the shape in the mind
of a line of unshod hooves, making
their soft racket on the stones.


The neighbour’s golden chain is obscured by night.
Darkness is masking the yellow
pendulums of flower
that swung all day and I thought might swing
even now, observable, in spring wind.

The night is windless. Though I may imagine
a tree moves. Though I may call the streetlights
perching birds or scraps of yellow bloom.
The window here is tall and a smell of petalled tails
travels over from the invisible garden.

I think of everything that’s hidden. Not just the fragrant
tree that spiked and bowed; that I watched
spike and bow in the air since noon.
But all the other unlit things.
Present. Covered over.

What I never saw in you. Your grace. Your tolerance.
The sleek and yellow scaffold of my bones,
that kept me company through every foolish journey.
My muscles, chains of electric life, that let me always,
whether or not I had a right, to stand.

B.T. Joy is a Scottish poet living and working in Glasgow. He has published poetry worldwide. After receiving his honours degree in Creative Writing and Film Studies in 2009 he went on, in 2012, to receive a PGDE from Strathclyde University and has since taught as a High School English teacher. He is also the author of two volumes of haiku In The Arms Of The Wind (2010) and The Reeds That Tilt The Sky (2011). http://btj0005uk.wix.com/btjoypoet
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