This Dark Art
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow, and which will not. Speak.
– Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3, Banquo
The Black-throated-diver sat low in the water;
A closely cropped head
Which runs smooth as grey-shale.
With chequered mantle, and
A bill – daggerish and dark in its art.
Dandelion heads fluct
By the bumping shoreline –
A flood of stones.
Wind stiff and whitish upon the water;
The male bird arrowing for fish.
Later, furtive among the wetted rushes,
Preening its beautiful flank.
* Made up word – fluct (v). to move around in the wind.
By Neil Burns
Neil Burns lives in London and is a poet, writer of short stories and plays and works for a charity. He is a lover of nature and is currently reading himself through the Western Literary Canon. His work has been published in The Railto and The North magazines and is currently working on a semi-auto biographical novel.
Josh Prior is a freelance illustrator with an interest in visual narrative, drawing and visual metaphor. He studied Illustration at the University of Plymouth, where he was awarded the Drawing Prize. www.joshpriorillustration.com