Laurie Adieu

to Laurie Josephs

There is a stream of beauty in the sky
that travels clear through Time. It is not seen
(though Saturn’s rings are a passing reflection)
but it is carried on in the star of the brain.

A sculptor lives in Islington who touched it.

A great hand poised at a drum; a dancing girl
naked in moonlight though there is no moon;
a messenger’s infinite stride; an enquiring face;
a sprawled youth, heels-in-the-air, in soliloquy –
it is a forest, grown again, of woods
worked, as if from a stream, in pieces of light.

A sculptor lives in Islington who took
walnut and elm, beech, apple, box and plane
and dark mahogany, and littered his rooms
with joy.
Only now he is gone
I understand that what he did with wood
is life again, is life for life, is words
of wood for one voluble word of being.

(Jupiter’s moons, and rainbows of the Earth,
are no more than the quiver of a current
of the electric sky.)
Seventy-five years
he chopped and chiselled, chose and cherished a way
that went to Nature’s wonder. From the age of 9
to 84 he grew from Earth’s good forest
the race again: the back’s beauty, the breast’s
certainty in its roundness, the ebullient body,
the heart’s delirious time and times, the gossip
of a great roomful of being.
In Africa once
I saw on the walls of a Bushman cave the same.
A poem’s river of words finds the same outlet,
and all the notes of music say no more.

A sculptor lives in Islington whose hand
reveals the hidden properties of a tree.

Share away: