Vuyelwa Carlin

seals in the dry valley

In the Artic South, but snowless—
the blown valley,
everlasting charge of wind-cavalry;

black blades of rock,
wind-whetted: it is dry as Mars.
The thousand-year dead inhabit it—

ancients of days rock-perched.
The wind roars through eyeholes,
has scoured them out—

gourds of bone, of wind:
spices of wind,
and the packed pulps, brain-lumps,

tossed into that inverted bowl—
density of old stardust, moving and shaking;
grass-meal, somewhere,

or up-spiralled, nudging at gravity’s blue rim.
Odd atoms, no-mass,
existing and not-existing—

are they making forever to the edge of things?
—And iron on iron,
dog-heads poised,

you valley carapaces
keen: eyelash-spikes in the wind,
ivories, whittled slowly, slowly, over wind-centuries.