I'm waiting for the fire to catch, and for the freeze;
for the embers to fade and for the thaw.
I'm waiting for the drifting log to turn,
to feel the crunch of teeth shearing
through flesh and bone, to flail, limbless
haemorrhaging, sinking, lost.
I'm waiting for lunch, for the show to start,
I'm waiting for it all to be over.
I'm waiting for all good things
to come to an end, I'm waiting for all things
to come to those who wait.
I'm waiting for the warm south wind to blow
the scent of lemon flowers over silver
fish-scaled seas, and incense smoke
of smouldering phoenix feathers.
You may as well ask
'What do you fear?'
'What do you long for'?
You can take your pick...
Questions is a collaboration by Lucy Kempton and Joe Hyam. Poems are based on questions drawn from an agreed starting question and formed by answers, which contain and inspire the next questions. In response to Lucy's first question, Joe kicks off. This follows our earlier work in Compasses, archived here, where Lucy's photographs illustrate Joe's series of 50 sonnets under the title Handbook for Explorers.