Thursday, 10 July 2014

from Blackwater Quartet, selection 10

Octaves in C 

In the tales of central Europe
the dead walk, and farmyard creatures
solve the riddle at the world’s heart.
In our lives, the leaves of autumn
fall irrevocably to earth,
and allegiances are buried
to the depth of memory, each
weighted with unforgiven pain.

In the maple woods, samaras
spin, lodged in mulch at the wood’s edge.
We walk through seedling haze, the keys
underfoot dry where filigree
roots succeed and the true leaf reigns.
Your hand’s touch on my face, seasons
passing, time cast in the soft wax
of summer air, these icons well.

Whoever we were, in the flat
in Winchester Street we became
ourselves, rehearsing a marriage.
Pimlico, in the pretty light
that burns above the London night,
folded neatly in our cases,
and away to America,
and away to invented lives.

In the loft, the box unopened
remains unopened, out of reach.
The self-portraits secreted there
and the paired whorls of fingerprints
if they exist at all, exist
in our intention to be loved.
That is our recompense, enough
that spring sun warmed perfect lanes.

It is probable that we lived,
and that the times were suitable.
We pretend to understanding,
in the planet’s revolutions
and the seed-cast of hours, belief
grown decorous, from wet streets
London reflected to the night,
waiting, blank with the mind’s blankness.

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