All Ways – a poem by Diana Durham

All Ways

the black hatchback blinked
a red triangle as it tipped
over the brink out of sight
down the dim tunnel of the road

side glimpse over a cornered gate
of the valley narrowing still far
below—on the broad back above us now
of the chalk upland we had walked

with cloud banks serried silver, white,
dark where the wind drove a grey
smoke of rain before them over
the flat. Slowly, the words are coming

back: green, light, the clack of crows,
phrases rustle their pathways
through the woods. Slowly, the mounded
plain spreads out south, red firing

flags stiff in the breeze, on its sheer
grass canvas, a giant close-up
of the concrete Horse, scrubbed White
again in June by abseilers.

Bumping along the track to leave,
a cow by fraying hedgerow
in the field suckles her calf.
With hawthorn, clambered blackberry

and next spring’s promise of primrose
in the shaded damp, wherever
I stand or look the land is shaped
by distance and perspective,

re-shaping in turn my thought,
linking memory of joy
to joy: a bridge over loss.
Sunken bridleway down past

the badger haunt, satin grass-
way uphill in the sun, all ways
growing the secret fractal
of language again in me.


Diana Durham is the author of three poetry collections: Sea of Glass (Diamond Press); To the End of the Night (Northwoods Press) Between Two Worlds (Chrysalis Poetry); the nonfiction The Return of King Arthur (Tarcher/Penguin); a debut novel
The Curve of the Land (Skylight Press); and a dramatic retelling of grail myth Perceval & the Grail: Perceval & the Grail Part 1 Morgana’s Retelling – YouTube


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