So here’s the dream: silvered beads of rain
raking a fractured grid down shining grass,
the gracious sweeps of briar rose, the steeps.
A hare loops out from the angled bank,
staples the roadway in quivers as it lopes;
flares right and left then jinks through a diving
gateway and is gone. We are driving on.
The faces of the actors float pale against
the light. Oberon is stately in his silver dress.
Titania stretches sated limbs; she feels despoiled.
Peter gives his sturdy piece, pulls pasty arms together,
kneads his hands. From where he stands
all will be well – as far as he can tell this play
is amplified, is not within. So we can all begin.
Now Puck dips his stems in juice of dew, plants
his heel to vapourize the elements we thought
we knew. And as the poison bites it cuts us through
as random love is wont to do – and leaves us wondering
just who is panting now inside the asses head.
Who weaves the threads to twitch this clouded web?
Perhaps it is the Warhorse snorting there instead.
Now here’s the thing. As Bottom lonely stands
to take his bow, strokes a hand along his sodden dress,
pulls the clinging fabric anyhow, he rubs the crusted dust
from fleecy eyes; pulls Pyramus from the fractured
wall, stands tall on tiptoe while sloven Thisbe sleeps.
Behind the stage, wet with a shower of golden stars
and slurried mud from sodden boots, Titania weeps.
Nicola Jackson studied at Clare College Cambridge and took a Doctorate at Oxford University. She has now moved on from her years in community education and is enjoying life as an itinerant writer between London and Cumbria. She has had poetry published in a range of journals and her work was commended in the Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prize in Spring 2016.
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This post was written by Nicola Jackson