We sang a hymn,
and then we fell into
wisdom and quiet.
For ages I wanted to write a poem;
about a tree – a winter tree outside our bedroom window -
standing black against a blue-grey sky,
its branches reaching out into fine and finer
silky twigs against a leaden cloud behind
with an occasional old leaf clinging
against its wooden lattice; and of a miracle
that sometimes happens on a still December day
when one leaf starts to twitch and move,
by forces unbeknown turns and grows
in amplitude until it waves a vigorous and happy
wave whilst all the rest around stand still. A wave
like that cries out for resonating souls and yes
I wanted to write that poem for ages.
A couple of coins, bright and cold, lie
on a table in a rushing train - flat.
Outside winter hurtles ashen grass
and bare branches, an occasional hill.
As this carriage sways, an engine hums
(engineers rule when gods stand still). Ultimately
journeys complete and I’ll arrive back home
to the sum of a cold bed, no light in the kitchen,
hungry under a darkening dome, I’ll catch
pan handles, cook and eat without grace to this earth;
dumb to a taste of the Present, forgetting
what it’s worth to close both eyes without recalling
underworld times, my past in darkness (young
and clumsy) a reticent fellow or zoom to the future ,
grabbing for purchase onto this NOW that travels forever.
Touching coins remind me of love but, in winter, dark
comes early and always from above, cashing in
with bye bye to daylight, goodbye passing train,
goodbye past and future images. Today I have a
better plan - to hit bullseye without circling:
by being me in essence and form, currency
and appearance, until appearance disappears
and my inner man grows warm by being and ‘not being’
both together. Yes there are two coins within this realm,
lying near each other, intimate as a dream,
and certainly not final when they spin
and overturn their weight, because money
equals power, tomorrow or today, making bread
or music or little children grin by a gift
of coins or even making engines hurtle
when a new driver clocks-on and history
repeats coin, coin, iron and true
spent and spent until oblivion melts
with others in a final wealth-pool or
plummets with a crash unpredictably but also
certainly - like trees and Banks. But for now
two coins begin a next phase of transaction;
a turn and spin, then stop, what next? Enough.
Author of Autumn sulked
in a corner. Again he had raced
into third place, won bronze,
and so he hid in shadow
camouflaged by leaves,
concealed by longer hair and hanging briars.
He had finally got the idea
- he was not a bonny summer
or glitter of winter.
‘Why me!?’ he shouted into corners,
lugged branches off trees in a strop,
battered gulls into silence.
Later, he filled valleys with misty breath
before an amber sun lifted
him high to air
and with much more room to slow
he perceived how, in limited light,
light is a priceless gift.
After rage he waves and sings,
rattles a hedgerow with magical voice
‘Howl often! Hush!’