Clarissa Aykroyd grew up in Victoria, Canada and now lives in London, where she works as a publisher. Her poetry has appeared in UK and international journals such as Black Bough Poetry, The Interpreter's House, The Island Review, Lighthouse, The Missing Slate, The Ofi Press Magazine and Shot Glass Journal. Her pamphlet, Island of Towers, was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2019.
I dream the perfect ride
It was raining and the cheap black gloves chafed
my hands. The reins and curved neck’s crest, a wave.
I blinked the rain, I was horse and river –
we flowed the jump but my clumsy mouth-jag
scared the horse and I had to dream sunlight
to calm him. He listened with his mind, breathed,
so black and sleek and slicker than a seal
in the patience of the rain, the white noise
of the rain, his cantering a mountain
beneath me, breaking the earth, living-deep.
pale bone of the light.
hissing – at my feet,
the rosehip moon.
The sky, bitten.
All flags torn.
Watson on Dartmoor
I first saw it in sun, edged with yellow
like the dragged note of a violin:
and yet, and yet something just out of tune
like the faintest rot beneath the sweetness.
It’s not of the earth, the moor. You drive
as though ascending – to hell; mist rolled in,
the wet air choked me. The light walked backwards
and vanished. The grey tors grinned down on us.
Holmes would love this, I thought. The touch of drama.
And then came the gates of Baskerville Hall.
Well, you know the rest. But the moor, that space,
that’s what I can’t explain. How it was not
of this world. How its clouds were close enough
to touch, and yet its skies were high enough
to elude my faltering translation.