Sun shapes the ordinary

Angle of the sun

after ‘Chinese Screen and Yellow Room’, Margaret Olley

A yellow gleam bends walls open
inside replenishes its fruit
a quiet exhaling slips through day.

Breadth of flowers—welcome! extend!
Sun shapes the ordinary, an open drawer.
Hands perfect long silence and blue walls.

Or afternoon’s lateness raises light
moves day’s weight, an instant circles
near motionless, books half hidden.

Intercept shape! catching that can.
Forms steep and soften, green, white
in the window’s presence, brush flowers
as though they are slow, erasure

is never complete, curves are wild props
and what is collected, never still…

Breathless in season

The glistered heat becomes banal
as names shimmy on the memory shrine.
I attempt a wishful clarity that orients
the heart, tho’ my two-bit memoirs decline,
retreat or erupt as if sudden interior bacchanal
could work amnesia or prevent
struggle with hills. I want to survey
clouds, in hope rain would bestow

its soft sting, or something braver
than logic’s need to know,
that useless regret cease its parley,
or I’d act beyond my own behaviour.
A fear of nothingness begets unrest
and breath that never was, now expressed.

To a patron saint

Geneviève, you know
I don’t believe the candles
and the bells. But you’ve been
lying there a long time.
You’d know something about
body ache and the ridiculous
of blood, which left you
long ago. I’m mobile
full of 21st century death
and lies. You’d perhaps still ken
the weather.

Geneviève, it’s cold
and my lungs
tell me stories of the old death.
Thank you
for the chair beside you.
Its discomfort is so authentic
like the damp of nave
and chapel house. The rue
outside is real.

I’m not sure
how to have these words
their aspirates
swell far into my chest
breath of the brain bit
that rehearses. Perhaps
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Make sure no-one’s listening.

Geneviève, if I could ask.
For what we do not have—
protection without force
and something
to breathe in.

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. 30, rue Descartes, Paris. Feb 2005

From A Calling of Ways

6. The Wandering

Sometimes—to stop
and raise air, difficult praises
at the waterfall, foot of a mountain
a path turning in its lines
and exchanges, the sought
seeking itself and another
those things I learned to tell
at edges, contours in
and outside the doubter’s way.

Within clarity’s blue shadow
is a dark pulse, a testimony
what the world offers in its imitatio
and journeys.

Sometimes—to stop
and raise air, on the road
not quite celebration
but in acknowledgement
of wandering, a calling
of ways, name it what you will
or what is offered:
sea, track, last rise
caldera, journeys and gift.



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