What are they like
these scholars of the cockshut light

elucubrating late
into the wee small, urgent hours?

See how they write one word
and then another, then another

then cross them out for ever.
(They’re shy, you understand,
of showing you their workings.)

Their hearts are soft
and purple as bruised damsons.

They’ve seen how dust
accumulates on nettles

know thirteen ways
of looking at the rain.

They half remember Mandelbrot
the name

as they spin the fractal beauty
of a barbicel upon a blackbird’s wing.

Annie Fisher

First published on the Snakeskin webzine