Fragments of neither one thing nor the other

For Earthweal, Solstice, Nadir and all the rest.

Fragments of neither one thing nor the other

When the fog is all,
the blanket that soaks the light not pearl, not silver,
just the washings of dirty rags,
there is neither night nor day.

There’s a moon there, but no one sees.
We stand in the entrance to the holy place,
and winter chills the marrow,
wrings the hands. Nothing;

no one sings or breathes at this balancing point.
Will you stay? I won’t ask, beg.
You sip your drink, tap your foot out of time,
and I know the answer.

All questions have the same source,
dip deep enough into the well,
stir the salmon with hazelnut pelting,
and listen to the ancient lisping—

on this night we topple into the winter cold,
the dark half not even half-over.
I find your hand, fingers frozen,
an owl calls, fox answers, the world turns.


Like honey

Like honey

the day is dark with rain
and the clouds hang low as crows caught
among tangled tree branches,
yet I still see green

where last night in the dark it seemed purple,
there is yellow at the heart,
and still a scent of summer,
honey, soft as

ash drifts in clouds from the dying fire
driven by the brisk sea wind,
colour of mist and cold sky,
it falls, a thin shroud on the waves

you left.
You said you would, but not
while the nightingales sang in the long nights,
and I believed you

then suddenly laughter,
and a small hand fishes out
the lost best pebble from the stream.
Look, the yellow veins, like honey.

Time fragments in a room

For dverse.

Time fragments in a room

Time, you said, and slid out of bed.
I could feel the cold through the soles of your feet.
I can always feel that shudder
when you break the link
and let in the world.

and then it fell, slid into a heap
of dead leaves raked against the trunk.
I watched as you bagged it
before the hornets,
sleepy and only mildly irritated yet,
decided to attack.

The postcard on my desk beckons
with its coloured blinds and drying washing,
the racket I hear despite its silence,
and in the distance, Il Vesuvio
slumps like a blue and diaphanous slag heap.

Nothing paws the air like a cat
next to the stove,
daring you to stroke its stomach.
Combustion rumbles, red and hot,
a train in waiting.

Dark the window behind the open shutter,
black the night meadow.
We never shut it out not entirely.
Night, meadow, the night stalkers,
creep through the glass when we’re gone.

I remember


I remember
That stick behind my eyes
Like broken glass
Sharp and vicious
As the day they were made.
I see
My coffee
Going cold
Beneath its spiral of froth
And your face
The absence in your eyes
Already thinking of something else.
I hear
Not looking
Eyes fixed on the frothy spiral
Your footsteps
And the closing door.
I remember
Only fragments
The whole
The happiness and the hurt
The awful waste of a love
Would drown me
In a sea of sorrow.