The human field of view allows
the castle to stand despite its thinness
on the hill formed of plucked trees
and the sea moving in all its weight
in its strength and then weakness.
Strength, weakness. Strength, weakness.
The seagulls search for fried fish
while I forgive myself of the past,
this new year. And find new feelings.
This civil war gatehouse with brick
and stone arches, towers, mossy tile,
helps me to understand myself:
it sits there, watching the grump
and joy of life and doesn’t quite know.
But it sits there all the same.
A rainbow slips into the bay around,
and grows brighter. We find a place
to park and at last, enjoy the sea.
Those limestone souls, a crowd surge at the gates
where wooden worm-nourishing beams, deny
a crossing of the red river – useless names,
given fresh to the mason master-puppeteer;
Sitting squat, one arm outstretched, and sly
squinting for the sea-spray, grim eyes dripping –
complacent – they tempt to a certain joy, lit
as the moon brings a cawing custom to hope.
But chaos, in its own self certitude
sways slowly forth in undulations of infinite patience
caressing those lucky ones inside
and more are lost, soft names dissolving
as the waiting hollows reveal their shapes, and the less
in turn await their pockmarking
Man stands against the boiling ocean of the possible
silhouetted by a setting sun – striding
out into the deep to be destroyed.
He could not keep the truth without dissolving:
a lone skeleton falls apart in the tides
and – drawn to the depths of darkness – this
pile of white bones dances down – into the abyss.
But not this man, no, this man keeps
to bed clutching scribe’s accoutrements
projecting dense defiance –
he poeticises wildly in the throes of music
waxing prophetic on the coming task of men
struggling in pain to focus, but he knows.
He just can’t seem to formulate
the premises in his prose.
Squinting in his nest, his moustache moist,
about the grand transcendence of the dark,
his mother brings him tea – his rough blanket
covered in yesterdays crumbs and ink accidents,
warms his knees – the will to digestion crowing.
He takes his meagre meal, curses her and even
As she makes matrimonial suggestions,
ressentiment quickens his breathing.
‘Woman is weak’ – he spits his damp crumbs
glaring at the matronly sign and signal
of his own pathetic nature – he turns aside
back to constant scribbling – by which he’ll teach
the world its wholly meagre worth in silence:
embalming modern insights in his head
with half-learned scraps of Darwin from the papers,
he will tread alone into the deep –
and this destiny has said.
He has no one to go with him, not a single friend.
And rather than put this down
to his unpleasant selfish manner
(a reason that never occurred to him)
he sees his path and hammer
as the wind’s lonely self-justifying answer to the void.