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The Saturday poem: Chanterelle


By Angela Leighton

L'incanto, se non il canto. Montale

Apricot flesh, a fluted neck,
leaf-mould grown to a perfect ear-lobe,
cocked, a queer hat, horn of gold,
a honeycomb on its own foothold,

and light-lorn in a trash of leaves
this fat of the earth, sumptuous geste,
thumbing its right to stop my step,
trusting a name to sing of itself:

and 'sing' is exact – a top-string A
pitched in thin air, as clear as day,
draws out the chant in enchantment's weather,
and makes a sound, a little singer.

• from The Messages by Angela Leighton, published by Shoestring Press at £9

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