“String Man” by Hadley James Hoyles

A heaviness paws at the ground
supporting the birch-wood table
without sound, left in the lurch
with this godforsaken mourning shroud.

He lives so little, his face can match
the umbra where the light scuttles
cannot catch, framing the blight
so as to amplify the cold patch.

A gloved hand rests, lets the load
cleanly go, boots gently rattle
the stark abode, tender to the root
compensate the frost of this black road.

A moment calls, for him it is to answer
the sacred tears must fall from here or else
they will be forked out to some unknown other
some stilted silence, foraging the dells.

Under pallid moonlight the clock cranes
its hands, straining to alleviate
this unalterable, unforgiving membrane
which cannot tell the bane which it creates.

His coat is taught, buttons crushed in tight
support when stance is crooked by the night
which he has foreseen, heading through the dale
yet still has caught him, unaware and pale.


Hadley-James Hoyles is a poet, musician and teacher from North Yorkshire, who bases much of his work on the relationship between the landscape and the psyche, the echoes of the ancient peoples of Northern England, and the impact of the natural world on the individual lives and actions of select characters. He has been published in Yellerzine, The Inkwell, Poetry Lab Shanghai, Together Behind Four Walls and The Klecksograph, and his debut pamphlet was released in March 2021 by Wild Pressed Books.

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