On the Movements of Bodies by Rosemary Badcoe

On the Movements of Bodies

About the time that Newton wrote Principia
and every spinning object settled down
to orbit in its newly designated way

the dodo died. Some pig or dog or crab-eating
macaque scoffed the last surviving egg.
The hatchling would have waddled up to watch

had Isaac shown with diagrams and pantomime
how its sternum lacked the strength to let it nest
above the scrub, that gravity would grasp its bones

and dislocate the stubby wings, suck
the last remaining bulbous beak into the swamp
where motion’s laws hold evolution, paused.

by Rosemary Badcoe

Editor’s Note: This poem marries science with art, leading to one of the inescapable truths of life—death (extinction) happens.

From the archives – Earth-bound by Rosemary Badcoe

Earth-bound

Tonight we’re waxing gibbous, giddy
with our arms out-flung in late-night light from stores
that stock their windows high. We sow distraction,
lope in doorways, carve our immortality
in bus shelters and benches. Here’s where hares
shovelled starlight on the recreation ground,
the mound like broken glass flinging reflections of our feet
up to a sky boxed in by banks of tenements.

Like leverets we’re born in shallow scrapes, eyes wide –
no chance to set a burrow where there’s space to grow.
We sling the stones that burst the lighted panes.
The hares pursue the moon into the sky
and squat there, pestles pounding rice cakes,
faces turned away.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 24, 2016 — by Rosemary Badcoe

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Earth-bound by Rosemary Badcoe

Earth-bound

Tonight we’re waxing gibbous, giddy
with our arms out-flung in late-night light from stores
that stock their windows high. We sow distraction,
lope in doorways, carve our immortality
in bus shelters and benches. Here’s where hares
shovelled starlight on the recreation ground,
the mound like broken glass flinging reflections of our feet
up to a sky boxed in by banks of tenements.

Like leverets we’re born in shallow scrapes, eyes wide –
no chance to set a burrow where there’s space to grow.
We sling the stones that burst the lighted panes.
The hares pursue the moon into the sky
and squat there, pestles pounding rice cakes,
faces turned away.

by Rosemary Badcoe

Editor’s Note: The imagery in this loose sonnet is rife with surrealism. The slant rhymes lull the reader into a world that seems ordinary, but is ever so slightly unrecognizable.

Fall of the Cards by Rosemary Badcoe

Fall of the Cards

The roof tiles stir with sneaking magpies.
Curled in cold and cramps, I wait
high in the attic, above the bailiffs.

Through the eaves wasps crawl, make nests.
They ask if this is home, but I cannot
reply. That evening they chew the walls

to paper. Downstairs, phones ring
until the phones are taken. Dustsheets
shade what’s left of furniture. I shift

the lids of boxes, sort through remains,
turn Tarot cards. I am the High Priestess,
sit with hands laid in my lap, take

no action but to wait, hold cups and coins
in hiding places. You passed your fist
across my face, lost all of this

and me. I think of love played out
against the heather, honey-scented,
stilled in stagnant peat. Moorland-eyed

I scan the roads, watch for the vans,
for thieving birds in black and white.

by Rosemary Badcoe

Editor’s Note: The imagery in this poem is both surreal and sharply detailed, giving the lines a haunting sense of emotion. The narrator feels both sinister and lost.