How to be a poet

Aside from having great friends,
I will trudge up this hill with unknown implements
and dig into the sod using hand-held verbs
and words I’ve never heard or recognised.
The horizon will loosen into a simile
which almost hurts with its precision.
Long-dead authors congregate outside the church.

Somehow the link aches so much
there will be books handed round like liturgies.
Amongst the rain-swept gravestones
mourners reach for metaphors
like gangsters going for their guns
in an unfilmed episode of The Godfather.

At the kissing gate, there’s a pause.
Hen harriers jockey on the thermals.
Over and above the valley’s lack of ambition,
writers disperse along public transport routes.
I look down at my shoes.
Mushrooms grow between my flat feet.

Tom Phillips 2011