Sunday, 20 December 2015
from Blackwater Quartet, selection 57
The verses open where a vivid wash
wades by in stately circumstance, intense
against exotic foliage, the sun’s lash
adjusted now to heatstrokes stripping sense
from sense, those gaudy pinks a reference
to weather anchored in the primitive.
Horizons redefine the fugitive.
The limewashed house is twisted timbers, split
from years of windrock, summer’s driven dust.
A spider’s webdrift widens in a knit
of failed intentions, hazing to august
insouciance the spinning spans to rust-
remaindered railings’ bent ironmongery.
A feint of scarlet lures the refugee.
There is no winter here, no wind-tooled frieze
of frosted glass where shunted seasons slide
to zero. Ceremonial degrees
are bathed in tropic mercury: a tide,
a cinnabar transparency I ride
returning to this place, returned to mind
misplaced. The future is the past refined.
The porch’s baked penumbra breaks the heat.
I shelter here, a creature of oblique
persuasions, practised now in cool defeat.
The years outrun run down this swelter creek
into the bay. An undulating sleek-
ness dominates the distance, a refrain
of purpose our imperfect lives sustain.