13 Transformations, Witnessed by a Nine Year Old Boy on a Hot Day in August

1. Rose petals quiver in the dry breath of Summer, glow like embers, become butterfly wings.

2. The gap between the evergreens, leading to the enclosed world of compost heap, shed, greenhouse, is a solid shadow, tangible darkness.

3. The neighbour’s cat is an inquisitorial eye. Silently intrusive, it interrogates the lawn, the flower beds, the leaves twitching on branches.

4. The sun is a disc of water.

5. A pigeon feather see-saws down to the parched grass, a leaf falling from a bird-tree.

6. Up close, worming among coarse grass blades: a blind, wingless dragon.

7. Behind him, in the hot stillness: a house that is a cenotaph. Mum and Dad sit motionless in a dead man’s living room.

8. Clouds are the fossils of impossible animals.

9. Young fingers follow the contours of the stone angel’s breasts. A touch becomes a thrill. He hesitates, withdraws. The house at his back is frowning.

10. Birdsong is a broken symphony played on Looney Tunes instruments.

11. The ants are going haywire. They scuttle, agitate, scurry, topple, their circuitry fizzing and sparking.

12. The earth’s skin blisters and cracks in the heat.

13. The heat, the long Summer, the garden, boredom, solitude, death, are a limbo, a daydream, ingredients for a story.


This prose poem is a study for the novel I’m writing and contains all of the raw ingredients for that narrative.

All material on this site is the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s