Peninsula

Alex Smith

Zennor, Morvah, Pendeen,
  where north and south converge –
the Atlantic upheaving,
  slant sting of rain, 45 degrees
to the hill, silver-point light
  pricking the granite face.
Elephant skin road twisting
  between farms, sloshed with slurry.
Outbuildings crouch, hugging the fields
  like long barrows. Farm people
look narrowly from under
  dark lintels, wearing their quick-stare mask –
Who’s this? What he want?
  they turn and fade, go about
their daily. Rain peters,
  light flickers, the sky switching blades.
A buzzard tacks, rag
  of silence. Soaking cattle stand
in small fields, nonplussed, as though
  placed there just for the moment.
Cuckoo calls haunt the middle distance
  as rain sweeps again, the hill’s eye closing.

Engine houses stare, empty as skull shells,
  the tunnelled earth a grave.
The working road skirts and humps
  its way over the remnant land,
thin end of the wedge.