Two poems by Ross Cogan

Ross Cogan

Loki as falcon

I slide the skin on over my own skin;
cold, corpse-like it is and cratered where quills
stand in their inkwells. A savage eye
I shrug on too and a barrage of sharp moons.
My new flesh knows the call of a thermal,
the joyful song of the ploughed field I can ride

real as a stream while this raiment of sails
sets and trims itself again and again
with each new note. Caves have been cut
in my bones; my shriek splits clouds like the shrill
scrape of iron on whetstone. When I return
youth lies in my talons, tight as a nut.

In your hands

I wonder at the small bones that you keep
locked in your hands’ chapel, tight in their sleeves

of skin like the white chalk under downland.
And I wonder at the way they mesh, side laid

on side, tips touching like a clinker keel,
or fall open showing boundary, canal.

Lend me your palms’ heat; let me reorder
its small muscles, tangle my own fingers

in yours, neat as the beams beneath the slate.
Cast your dice for me. Show me my fate.

***
‘Loki as Falcon’ and ‘In Your Hands’ by Ross Cogan won the Second and Highly Commended prizes in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2016) judged by Terry Jones.

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