Aught, no. 5 (2001)

John Gimblett

In Real and Imagined Cities

            "A man...is so in the way in the house!"
                       — Mrs Gaskell, 1851-3.

1.
Like you were when you
your wings dropp'd suddenly with an arrow's
intent

            taking a pebble from the shore, licking
salt from the stone

                                                 you
your eyes flicker momentarily and
is this a gold leaf shutter
are you silent and is your name

                                                sunshine

"And there I shut her wild her wild, wild eyes
with kisses four." — Keats.

 

2.
When

if the taut white tent of the sheet
        breaks beam upon shadow

when
                                            this
bed
                                        of petals
covers you
         there is colour in a dark room, hidden,
it is nonetheless
                breathing
                                        there
        you are

                                there is substance in your
flesh and lying with you
there

                                            are no shadows
                                            but the stones
                                            of our souls

        quaking in halflight

"Partir c'est mourir un peu."
-- Edmund Haraucourt, 1891.

 

3.
In this hymn for a birthday there
are words upon buried word
                                and your being with me
                    somewhere
                                                            in this
moment


which are dreams


watching your hair tied tight and
spiralled your shell
                                                            encloses this sphere
                        of me

                                            I think forward to your day
there is waking, sunshine, and night,
there is waking, sunshine, and night


                                                                            crept
                                    over you
                                    and us

 

4.
Upon this harbour wall talking
an iron clip on mast

metronomic
                                                    beats the lap of words
and chequered stones
keep us here

 

                                        In thinking we are here
                                        I can pull sunshine into this
evening
                                  you
make stitches
twin colours
stretch a line

 

                                        From you thinking nothing
                                        I have transfigured
                                        the thought:

            it is this day brought forward
one year on I

                                                    have
                                                    become
                                                    you
                                                    more
                                                    than
                                                    us
                                                            and love like the sun.

            "Have nothing in your houses that you do
            not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
                                    —William Morris, 1882.


Copyright 2001, by the author. All rights reserved.
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