Caroline Carver

listening for the wind

I used to think stars were holes
punched in a black arc of curtain
to let in the light behind
so we could shine our own way down dark paths
and on nights when the moon came
it was only a mirror a reflection
of our earth-light returned to us
glittering on the river as it slid
its way among trees a few early leaves floating on it
and I would feel comforted

but now I’ve learned about planets and satellites
moons how the universe is expanding
each time I look up at the stars they seem further away
and I open my mind to this but all I can feel
is a strange loneliness because one day
the comfort of lights may be gone

I used to think the voices of whistling frogs at night
was the sound of stars twinkling
and all seemed to very right with the world
I’m not yet allowing my mind to tread
the stony path of quantum physics
or to think even for a minute
that every time I raise a glass to the future
or consider something that happened today
there may be a thousand identical me’s in other places
doing the same thing
our cottage with its comforting cob walls and pictures
and rooms leading into other rooms
may be stepping away from me
and like the planets and universes
moving backwards and further away
until there is no more centre to my life
no warm comfort
no more goldfinches in the garden
nowhere I can hide myself and feel
this is my safe place this is my home

Caroline Carver has published 6 collections and 2 pamphlets, and won many awards, including the National Poetry Prize and Italian Silver Wyvern. Her residencies include the Maritime Institute, Plymouth University. She has lived in Bermuda, Jamaica, and Canada, and is now in Cornwall. Her constant companion is always the sea.