Through dawn in February's wincing radiance,
Every splinter of river mist
rayed in my eyes.
As if the squint of the sun had released light's
metals. As if the river pulsed white,
and the holly's
sharp green lacquered leaves leaped acetylene.
As if the air smouldered from the ice of dry
pain, as if day
were fragmented in doubt. As if it were given
to enter alive the braided rings Saturn
is known by
and yet be allied to the dyke's heaped mud.
I will not forget how the ash trees stood,
silvered and still,
how each soft stone on its near shadow knelt,
how the sheep became stones where they built
their pearled hill.
Anne Stevenson (from Minute by Galss Minute, OUP 1982)
Found in The Experience of Landscape, paintings, drawings and photographs from the Arts Council Collection (South Bank Centre 1987-89).