Poetry: Front Flip Half Twist | clivejames.com
[Invisible line of text as temporary way to expand content column justified text width to hit margins on most viewports, simply for improved display stability in the interval between column creation and loading]

Front Flip Half Twist

In the video from Wales, my granddaughter
Steps to the wall’s edge. Just a yard below
The beach begins, a long way from the water.
A pause for thought. She then proceeds to throw
A cartwheel through the air, and, when she lands,
Stand upright on the sand, all done no hands.

She came to her miraculous mastery
Of this manoeuvre by a strict process —
She still insists it was no mystery —
Of more and more to reach down less and less
Until, one day, the finished thing was there,
Made manifest entirely in mid-air.

I who can fly no longer feel I’m flying
When I watch her describe that graceful arc,
So perfectly alive. I can’t be dying
If I see this. The sky will not grow dark
While she spins through it, setting it alight,
Making my day by staving off the night.

Play it again. A poem that has taken
Its final form is radiant like this.
Beginnings left behind, but not forsaken,
Its history beyond analysis,
What starts by growing slowly, like a pearl,
Takes off and turns into a whirling girl.