Creative Work: ‘Coxcomb’ & ‘Pastureland’ by Tim Gordon

Today thCreative Workse we are proud to bring you two poems from poet Tim Gordon titled ‘Coxcomb’ and ‘Pastureland.’ Both of these pieces draw on the tradition of pastoral literature in that they contrast an idealised countryside with the artificiality of urban and modern trappings.


The outback pasture,
New-mown hay bales
Stacked row-on-row,
Sun ripening each tan-rich,
While mares and sires,
Singly, and in homely pairs,
Black Angus cattle
Crouching on haunches
In tarry midsummer mud
Explore what’s left of earth,
A poor, bare, forked animal,
As do all other creatures,
Great and small, for the nonce,
(Even Lear, once), here, elsewhere,
Country, city, season after season,
Tho’ Nothing can be made out of nothing,
As any Fool, brooding Mourning Dove
Or swallow knows—, such a longing,
Such a fitful longing



It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

So the garden cockscomb breaking like dawn,
Willfully, and early, in spring over mountain, field,
City itself, dripping its red plume mullet or heady
Maze of tightly teased or perm’d Annie-Shirley
Curls into light, quiet, patient, shy, unaired to all
By scent or spirit or shine like lilac and jasmine,
Lordly tulip, sovereign rose, until abloom! blossoms
Preening its cocky vibe, I am still most beautiful,
Forgetting shared moments, picked for bouquets,
Boutonnières, but never the cachet of fleurs-de-lis,
Others living The Dream futzing with Facebook likes
Or smells or heaven-sent auras—Image, we’re assured,
Everything—, scofflaws from self on cruise control, de-
pendent on a spit-curl and style points, That’s just the way it is/
Some things’ll never change, unmindful of ends, of light,
Deeper and deepening darkness each new blueblack night.

Both of these poems are dripping with imagining that immediately sinks you into rural environments, but in ‘Coxcomb,’ the mentions of modern foibles creates a harsh contrast to the scenery. Thank you for reading and please leave any thoughts you have on these poems in the comments.

If you would like to see your own work published on Words, Pauses, Noises, please take a look at our submission guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!

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