. . . and our words turn and fall
flickering with our life upon the earth.
The last Rastafarian, a lonely tribal singer.
There are women with armfuls of children.
The god is a floating cargo.
The burden was somewhere in front of me,
Shone, lazily. Stepping out
Into a hidden romance of storms
The absence that there is in me
Was what I found to celebrate,
A fresh quiet smell. Shallow epiphany
To have found it again intact,
The thoughtful container,
Its shifting stain of consciousness.
On the lip of its
Creatureliness, to live
The poem ending it happens again and again
Like hearing from far off the sound of land,
Speech acts the saviour
As if we imagined returning
The things to their proper names,
The plainness of our speech being fed to earth.
They forget the dust for a little music
Glad to be there
Not any longer, for now
This interval, of
Back to it, over the leaves –
A breeze blows the shadows about
As if we were inside it
Like a slightly disordered mind.
What language blinks at
As light as hunger
Gets covered with a cloth of sound
Like watching birds it’s always
Just over there the
Startled life in it,
Some significant birdsong
And I only write it down, to defend myself
From all that noise.
Given almost enough with which to dissemble
Seeming like all the others almost the same
The words like someone shamming dead
Whose inscriptions battle the stillness
Or like the names of stations rushing past
Each one is a petrified blessing.
Till calmed by snow the silent other
Is lifted onto the arms of trees.
White perfume cools to zero.
What might be spilt becomes an effect of silence,
The future sealed for a time
And later, to see it slipping away,
Tainted patchwork effect,
The unheard sound as epitaph.
The brush-and-ink poets
Are tracing their names.
Halting lyric a nagging wish:
‘He Carries His Instrument Home’.
What I dismember,
Yes take it home, splash it with wine
In a city whose poor are pushed to its rim
Cheap orchids breeze’s counsel
Copyright © John Welch, 2012