Sport 40: 2012
The gold day
All that happened was the sun
went behind a cloud—
ﬁery was the green
among the leaves
ﬁlled themselves, rose, wanting to multiply
all living things
and the earth too, the stones
Wherever there was water
there was light and life
and the air: well!—
you could swim in it.
The sun went behind a cloud
and all that is over now.
There were butterﬂies in among the lavender—
how long they had been there I have no idea
so many times I lifted my eyes towards them
thinking of other things,
and never thought: butterﬂies.
It was three days ago now ﬁnally I saw them
and today there is only the bright ﬂinty sunlight
it’s colder, the lavender is plainer: they’re gone.
And now I think they must have been there all summer
the crowd of them, and every one in a pair
not allowing themselves to be scattered or blown
they stayed, going nowhere but here
half dropping, weakly beating, a simple host
who found our lavender their place of pleasure
drinking in the sun, the nectar, and each other.
Here we are at the beginning
once again in the river’s mouth
all doing the slow-waking walking dance
with our eyes open wider than wide.
Everywhere the dark is, there is its heart.
We’re awake—awake in the dark
where we hush, and may touch
and only gently move apart.
It rises and it rises—
where there were branches
showing how things might be
now there are places to live—
and a girl in an airy dress
who woke only a little while ago
ﬁnds the whole world is a kiss
and steps into it.
It was a wind that started
as a small disturbance off the coast
that ﬁnally took the place apart.
We’d seen it, a cat’s-paw on the water
and said, ‘Wouldn’t want to be out in that.’
We lived, but all the time felt it coming. There were ﬂowers on the table.
The beds were warm.
We had plenty of ﬁrewood in the winter
and in summer opened all the windows and doors.
Still it came and to no one’s surprise whisked away what we’d called home. Surely we should be
packed and gone off to another life, not still be here standing and staring so stupidly.
a begging bowl
by two hands
of this or that,
Down the road there’s an orchard no one
cares for much, although
someone once left a ladder out
and a few prunings still lie there, tumbled about.
That’s where I stop when I go off on the bike.
I peer through to see what
among the trees degged with lichen
might be happening. And there it is—
the ﬁrst blossom, a plum.
This needs a patch of blue behind it
and all I’ve got for now is grey
so I watch, and while I do
a line of cars passes.
Away they go to the last one
leaving behind something which grows and becomes
silence—and a cry: a lamb!
Chips of gravel lie this way and that
the way tyres ﬂung them
into the weeds all reaching and shining and showing
every one of them a someone
and here am I—
not anyone or anywhere
among small stones and grass
waiting for a cloud to pass.