Ground breaks for the coming of spring

My eyes are blind.
Everything, all beasts and birds,
all things that prey, are preyed on,
know how blind my eyes are, how
I find sun and sky by inheritance.
This they knew when they came to be.

I am passing through earth, passing
the souls of animals who nod
when my eyes (like a newborn worm)
seek them out for guidance.

My world has been glacial
and all I had was the roar of god,
then the small click of ice breaking.
My world has been burning,
and all I had was heat and carbon:
light surrounding. Until the ash.
I have known all states of things.

Each year I break through blind
to open my eyes for the sun, sky,
for the bridge of leaves above trees;
the creatures sleeping newly beneath them.

from Ten Poems of the Soil (Candlestick Press, 2022)

© Jacqueline Gabbitas
With kind permission from the poet and Candlestick Press

appears in Ten Poems of the Soil (Candlestick Press, 2022)

Jacqueline Gabbitas

Jacqueline Gabbitas is a poet and fiction writer. She has published three poetry pamphlets: Mid Lands (Hearing Eye), Earthworks and Small Grass (Stonewood Press). Her poetry has been broadcast on Radio 3’s The Verb, Radio Nottingham and Soho Radio, and published in magazines and anthologies including: Poetry Review, Magma, Cleaver, Poetry Birmingham, Long Poem Magazine,  The Forward Prize Anthology, Entering the Tapestry (Enitharmon) and Ten Poems for a Picnic (Candlestick Press). She has won prizes in various UK and international competitions and has received two Arts Council England grants for Grass (poetry about the environment seen through the eyes of grass) and the Dovetail Sonnets exploring poetry, woodworking and grief.  She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University, was shortlisted in the New Writing Ventures Award and is a Hawthornden Fellow. She is a writing mentor and tutor for Pen to Print in London, co-editor of Brittle Star literary magazine and the host of Unfeared, a new podcast of ghost stories written by women (launching Autumn 2022).