Doing the Housework with Brother Lawrence | Blue

Doing the Housework with Brother Lawrence

Universe wrings down to kitchen size. Turning taps
loop round Saturn, silver basins glimmer,
soapsuds build a polar world.
Pegged to the line, sails swing
across a sea of couch grass.
Straw broom rudders over concrete;
there’s a leaf spray storm to stern.
Vacuum Unit uproots coins and alien seeds
from a patterned forest. In the lunar colony,
the fl ags of a porcelain State are scrubbed for inspection.
Pack the spacecrafts into the holding room, send them
on a water blast mission. Place provisions in the white monolith,
to the depths of an iced inner world. Then come with me to Vulcan,
our departure lounge, sit down and drink brown juice
til the sails are dry. And the kids come home.

Paul Mitchell


Morning light: arcs of the wind, its sightless paths.
This mirror gaping blue-eyed on a garbage heap
tacks up rain and refuse: grips the fl are of a cloud, the ink of cypress needles.
Presence, then release. A thrush hovers in a bush.
Give me your whispers.
Give me howls like a bright wind furling through the rain.
Give me lines etched on copper plates with mortal acid burns.
Give me a promise you can keep.
This mirror won’t tell me what you want.
This cypress, limbs grinding in the sky, say nothing of proximity, savagery, belief.
This thrush fl ees the nest a mouse has raided; she will not return.
This blindness is the pause as wind covers up the dead.

Judith Bishop



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