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.. , , , , , , . (). – , – «Poem: International Quarterly Review». – «Night Fugue» - 2013 .


THE CORN VERSICLES

I love paths cut
through corn,
through grass and meadowsweet —

that clean opening,
as if the path
were
a pattern
for life, abstract and true —
as if form were a truth
about you.
And I love to walk
the new
swathe, where stalks
start up from the exact
gold dark

as I reach down to touch each corn-head with a fingertip —
it makes me think
of Helena, Empress
Mother of Constantine,

gambling on the natural justice
that gods
reward faithfulness.
Everything good
still waits
in the next field,

the best
is yet to come
and it smells of warm earth

crazed by sun,
of seed-heads
husked against my thumb.

Do you remember
when we walked at Eastleach?

Did you see me stoop and grow
strange to myself —

like the rows
of wheat — like shaking bells of husk?





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TWO COLESHILL SONNETS
REVENANT

Downhill… and I met myself,
a pale ghost glimmering
the way a poacher’s torch shines
there — now there — between the trees
so it seems at moments as if
they too are ghosts, walking
in a new light, coming
out of memory toward you…

When we met, myself and I,
each cast the other into a kind
of shining shadow,

my younger self ascending through me
like a shiver, as I turned
toward the house below.

CONCEPTION

The small cat inside the hut,
looking out of the glass door
at the dog scratching that door,
places her paws together
with unconscious care
on the blue square of the mat.

Grace is a secret clockwork,
she seems to say. Which is true.
We’ll never arrive at the truth —
I mean, we can never undress
right down to how we were
in our conception’s new caress
when the membrane spilled the dreaming yolk;
when self first broke and entered self.





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THE MIRACLE TREE

The true Rood
is in the tree —

white
as rising sap,
the Christ-white blood

The true tree
is in the Rood —

red
as the breaking bark
where the yew bleeds

The Rood
holds up life

in blood-red apple
and bruised pear,
sweet fruit

The tree
holds up death —

ransacked body,
hunger and juice
The graveyard miracle






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*
When you put your hands around my neck
I didn’t know whether I was great or small.

My bones flew out into the universe
and began to sing —

a scatter of small birds.

Did you kill me
or love me?

Night rises from the earth.

Always the same night
with its claws at my stomach.

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