The Midnight Hare

Gold-foot, loping, leaping to light,
twisting to the smile on the silent field,
flying to the drum of the full moon dance,
hops the hedge, legs spread loose,
lank, then taut, tight, sprightly
springs, flips to her form, then:

           Spellbound, sleek, almost
invisible, low on dark ground,
inscrutable hieroglyph of being, seeing
secrets deep behind honey eyes,
old as time, cold as stone,
alone with night, a million stars,

           Up again, snatched from dreams,
darting to the mewse, the Old Ways,
pitched like a soft stone, silhouetted
on rising silver, high over water,
low across earth, drawn to the down,
the husk hushed, then wild, moonstruck,
shadow boxing things unseen.

by Oz Hardwick

‘The Midnight Hare’ is copyright © Oz Hardwick, 2010. It is reprinted from The Illuminated Dreamer by permission of Oversteps Books.

Notes from Oversteps:

Oz Hardwick, a York-based writer, photographer, lecturer and musician, has published widely, including two previous collections. He also writes on art and literary history, and is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University College. As Paul Hardwick, he has recently published an impressive book about English misericords, English Medieval Misericords: The Margins of Meaning (Boydell Press, 2011). You can read more about Oz Hardwick at this link, find out more about his music here, and read a further poem from The Illuminated Dreamer at this page.

Oversteps Books publishes some of the best in contemporary poetry, covering a wide range of established and new poets. There is a rigorous editorial policy, and the books are produced to the highest standards both in terms of editorial accuracy and the beauty of the finished books. Oversteps poets also give regular poetry readings at festivals and other events. Oversteps Books was founded in 1992 by the poet and translator, Anne Born. The poet and lecturer, Alwyn Marriage, became Managing Editor in 2008. You can find out more about the press and sign up for Oversteps’s mailing list here.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.