• Kate Clarke

Dowsing

I had a boyfriend once, who was one of those Led Zeppelin fans

into cheesecloth shirts, the Solstice, castle ruins, standing stones.

Another guitar player, he too had Terence Stamp cheekbones.

We spent a day metal detecting on the Oxfordshire Downs.

We did a whole lot of things on the Oxfordshire Downs.


We found lead wraps amid the flints, in pale, pliable ribbons,

coiled and ready to make lethal shot for Civil War weapons.

He took me dowsing in the same spot, with a pair of steel rods.

They went haywire when he stepped across those earthly pulse-points,

like some jerry-built warning system out of Thunderbirds.


They repeated this performance when he retraced his steps,

and when he marched off again with a pair of hazel twigs.

He passed the rods to me and they were still. No hiccups, no blips.

I feel for Tommy Cooper. There's no magic in these hands.

And I don't believe in all this stuff, or in tea-leaves, prayers or palms.


But then, how is 'Love at First Sight', for a piece of foolishness?

Or the delusion of 'The One?' this is flat-Earth craziness.

Or the concept of 'Your Other Half'. Who buys into this?

But that is all entirely true, too.

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