God’s Acre

I have read the papers till the wave of the word
has drenched the acre where the sense is sown
and so receding, leaves a mind that’s blurred,
a dim expanse, a field of mud and stone,
a few gross plants, splayed-out and overblown,
and no good earth, with nothing to effect
a nearness of the known and the unknown.
The plain of my understanding has been wrecked.

I have talked to the world, the world has talked to me,
I have heard this view and that view the world over,
I have listened to nothing. Only the wind from the sea
hints to me of a new world to discover
each magical breath. We have become too clever,
too knowing, too far apart, too worded through.
I will unword the thread of myself for ever –
the silentest, the simplest thing to do:

I will go down to the sea for my conversation.
I have read too many books, it has stilled my mind,
I have sunk in front of the screen. What inspiration
is a dead word, a dry wave, or a dull blind
outlook on things? I would be less defined,
a part of all that moves and does not end,
in with the wordless current … and still find
a poem or two to write, talk to a friend.


And who else
made poetry, to end up at the sea?
They are my cousins.
Together we
half understand a language of old Time.
A brilliant shade
delivers us to new light. And with those
yet to be made
we give our words to – what? – to all
sub specie
aeternitatis. Ah my cousins of Earth
we are called away.


Listen listen
it says. Yes,
your worship. Look
it says. I am looking,
What do you hear?
I hear a soft breath in a garden,
and see – Go on.
I see reflections in a pool
of what will be. Good. It is enough.
Come back. Thankyou, solemnity.
On my way.

Do you hear? Do you see?
Dimly, your intelligence.
A knocking-together
of blocks of great air.
And I see – . Take your time,
all the time in the world.
I am afraid
to say what I see.
Can you softly sing it?
Yes, your salience.
There are gods about us. There are gods about us.
Not a place. No places. A palace.

Quite so. You are agreed?
On what, luminosity?
It is time now
for my going.
First you will encounter
the rocks in the dark.
It is all.
I look back, immensitude,
at the time I had
in a coracle only
on loan to me.
Yes, your grace.


Throw the newspaper words into the wind.
In the first poem of my old age, I see
a shore somewhere, that some sense may be dinned
into my blind old skull. A place to be.

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