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Poems - In Love

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One rose
harbours a world
shelters a heart
touches a light

One hand
cupping a dream
warming a life
frames love
With  utmost

One glance
nearly a word
slowly a touch
dissolve time
In falling

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Once, in a blue moon,
Untenable light-years
contracting between the poles
of legendary

Spin to a thin high tide
of constricted
in four-space
my cat-eyed fable, my
bringing my Glass

A glimmer of lanterns
light you from sea-myth to landfall
under the red disk dull as a dead
To mirror me

The insistent
Coming of the Beast I dread
impervious to all my roses
some Thing in umbra
a sharp stone sparkling in my head
Of opposite parity
~ do I combine with Him
the uttermost
name of whatever alien love may favour us
is too
to dignify this night her soft cataclysm

A Dali-Christ
hung under the heavens
is she
that is her shape  ~
Meeting of moments
E = mc²
shape of the God-mind
Bowed under the albatross

Place therefore gently around my neck
On my occulted heart

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



This music is the colour of your eyes
I look out upon the world from under
Your soft lashes
In deep wonder

And slowly smile your smile
Without surprise

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



the space between
and your
Lovely nose


My chin
Dear delight in
Your nose

my chin

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



When you are come, my heart flies out like a green bird to meet you.
By night she wanders in rooms where you might be.
By day she sits in my head; in the mere stir of her feathers
She hears you coming, in a leaf-fall,
In a green murmur blowing over the fields.
Only my ears dreaming of when you were last here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


God walks in your eyes, across your smile,
Leaves his footprint in your waiting palm,
Perfects dominion of your gentleness
And reaches out along the loving arm.
You, my redeemer, grace the holiest aisle.
You enclose me with simplicity,
Kindle rose fire as you undress
My soul, naked as pain, maker of me.
We shall in silver time move sound together;
Aeons locked in rosary and white heather.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



In still wonder
I am in slow burn
I’ll get there one day
Tired light
Is all left behind
I and you are
In the dark
We are
Starkly brilliant
Among stars

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



In that turbulent peace I laid
My lips in your hair.
No sound nor move you made.
I left them there.

So we remained.
And so your hand I kept,
All that had pained
Me, gone. I held you close. You slept.

If, in that rose-encircled sleep
You know me there,
It is because I weep
Into your hair;

Because this night
Of candled mist has given
More sad delight
Than I can bear so far from heaven.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


When my eyes close, I am your face.
I am in every place
In which you move.
I feel the bone adjust, and the soul stir,
The entire shape alter.
And this is love.

I am empty of me by day till your return,
I suffer the ice-burn
Of open time
And of a loosed life flowing away
With no tourniquet
But a crude rhyme.

When your forested hand should dam my brain,
Never to cry again,
Were you to love
Me as I want you, some way to reconcile
God with the animal -
That were enough.

* * * * * * * * * * *


She has the child now,
Suckling blindly at her love,
Calf-quenching himself
With now a look of limpid acknowledgement;
His fist full of the only gold she has to give
Twisted in sunlit hair.
- Oh, love is a terrible sad thing, Dan.

Oh Dan, love, they hoist you out, and she has you.
With much anguish but more ceremony they cut you free
Than he is ripped from the tenderest part, her chi,
Piecemeal, so even the soul bleeds,

She wonders if this after-blood will ever dry,
This other milk, common to star and stone,
Ever ebb from the image of his thirst.

Even lost in the light-sound-cave
Where she diminished amid echoes
There was no refuge, Dan, for very long;
Even where she went down, kindling, and became sizeless
To help unlock your prison.

He the shadow moves ever amid the gulf of sound,
Ghost of a shade
Slipping between the pulses of her forgiveness
Without touching,
Yet unable to lodge guilt safe
Behind any sonorous membrane of her light.
Oh, Dan, he thinks it a hell-sun,
the glory wherein no shred of man nor woman may hide!

And they abort him from her;
She cannot fight so many grappling hands.
Only lie and howl in her silent places
Like a bewildered beast, and lick each torn part
Of her ravaged immortality.

You, whole, lie and perhaps listen
Out of your own haven;
You are the child she thinks may understand
In manhood and learn to forgive the man
Who ravished so her soul -
Love can be such a terrible harsh pain,

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


O love, oh dear love, alone in the gaslight,
Lonely and longing I sing of you softly;
Smiling a little I sing of your beauty.

Sad white flower,
weary of infancy,
Curled in shadow away from the sun,
In the moon's hour
You will open unto me,
Sweetly so touching, oh sweetly done.

O love, oh dear love, alone in the gaslight,
Lonely and longing I sing of you softly;
Looking on dreams I sing of your eyes.

Shy-coming light,
Wells of dark in the fells at sunrise
Fringed with light,
Blue-misted morning.
But how they unveil to the welcome night
With dew in the dusk
Thither me beckoning!

O love, oh dear love, alone in the gaslight,
Lonely and longing I sing of you softly;
With love in my fingers I sing of your hair.

Soft as a sparrow and wavy as wind
On the bird-brown moorland,
Wild in the air,
Come, shelter by me, and
In warm double darkness
I'll stroke all your fears away under my hand.

O love, oh dear love, alone in the gaslight,
Lonely and longing I sing of you softly.



And I can do nothing for you
But weep your tears,
Darken your fears,
And kiss your dry cheek

For all the terrible years
Of which you speak.
I am so weak,
And you so calm, in grief.

I cannot reassure you
Or give relief.
Our lives are brief
Enough, and may well end

Here, at the death of love.
You may depend
On your dearest friend
To bear the weight of your pain.

Do as you intend.
Empty your brain
Of music, drain
Your body of hope and sorrow;

The memories that remain
Will cloud tomorrow,
And I shall go
Uneasy to bed again.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


(Episode between Piccadilly Circus and Marylebone Station on October 4th 1961)

I fell in love on a London train
One Wednesday night with autumn rain ...
I shall never see his face again.

I looked at him, and in silence we
Exchanged a whole eternity
Of wonder and discovery.

The pulse of years was in my hand,
My heart flew to another land -
You have been there? You understand.

And when I saw my lover rise
He was not tall, but oh, the skies!
The worlds of beauty in his eyes!

He shared with me night-fires, flowers,
That haunted all my secret hours
Till, in a dawn of dreams, powers

Moved, and set a ruby in
My hand; a rose bled deep carmine;
And I, pure deathly flame within,

Knew where to find that purity -
For in their faces I shall see
My little lover haunting me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


There is no getting through this wall of diamond ice,
There is no getting through.
There is no way to the centre of your world;
There is no way by the bright pole turned towards me.

A quick sun shakes out spring;
Unease and the wind close over the snows again.

Each crevice I want to explore is deep.
But I am the coward, now, and keep
My foot on the firm frost; I fear to be lost.

If my voice had power against the wind
(That blows me toward the sea) I would sow words
In the pitiless ice, watch them snap
Or sink under the snow.
And in that warmer place I could rest and think
In the bleak glitter of stars.

But that is no way.
The wind blows me seaward
Away from the seismic crust of musical ice
(Abandon its siren song)
Where my compass skips like an idiot
In the bright sleet from my eyes.
There is no getting through.

Hand over hand, into the throat of night
I would go down,
But who knows what stricture of rock would crack my veins
(And a slow weep of blood complete its journey)
What dank breath exhale me,
Or tonguing jealous flame leap from below,
Grappling with my fire?

It might thaw
The white rock and splinter the stars;
While these eyes run resinous into your past
And stick blind.

If it were glass
Between me and the mouth of darkness, a swift blow
Would end all circumspection.
I could look through, and touch,
Without tempting the malice of thin chasms.

My grief stares back from mirrors a mile deep,
My lips freeze against the ungiving ground,
The wind, the wind ...

Flying forever seaward calls me away
From the place where tears gel
And hair is a crisp horizon beyond the face;
There is no way through.

I must turn back to the yielding sea,
Or stay, and stiffen into a sad flag
Saluting failure, for others to find with sorrow.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Out there a bell rings, over the car park ... Please,
Where are you going?
No answer.
Ring ... ring ...
The huts listen, deserted.
What will you do there?
Ring ... ring ...
Ringing, ringing,
no answer.

The boy with the face of a nun
sits at the table.
His eyes sloping. The white alp of his back.
His even limbs kept never to run.
He goes with a down-gaze,
a cool martyrdom.

Somewhere, a bell rings.
Time, child, for communion.
Come out of the walled garden,
there is bread, and wine, and soup, and laughter, and love!
in the world outside the garden;
Out there the sun shines -
- and I!

The sun and the moon in the afternoon,
and the danger of dusk in a stumble field,
and a body like ice-cream.
And a wind loose in the hair;
and the creeping together of flame in the straw in prayer,
                    in prayer ...

A star falls,
the sky falls;
Time floats far and wide ...
Softly the bells begin to ring; my hands are untied ...
I speak to you.
Softly the bells start ringing out of my soul.
Softly the bells start ringing out of my soul!
- Too late. I hear a door close in the cloister.
No answer. Again. Mad God! There is no answer!
Only the tired sound of the fire dying,
and the dark peewit's dream crying.
My words and my despair
spilt among cold ashes of his hair.
With the night flapping battily about my head
I'll dig my half-memories a death-bed.

The stars float up in my soup ...
O, years later!
                    Out there a bell rings ...
In here is a tumble of joy on the floor, in the air,
in your skyey hair, oh beautiful boy!
Over the tables!
... up and down in my soup ...
Over and over, scatter of roses, flutter
of hands, of wings, of songs,
of laughter, and silence; the heart bubbles on -
the ringing, the silence ... the silence ...
                    Again, the silence.

Out there a bell rings. No answer. A troop
of stars drift in my soup.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Dear God! Not this raw cry of  No!
The door shutting out her ugly misery.
Janet must have her Joe!

It's like denying Christ. He walked out
With her tears in his hair, cold,
Undoing her sobbing hands from him,
While we and the walls listened to screams of
                          "Please, Joe! Please!"
                                                              out in the hall.
By the fire her wine-cup left, half-empty,
Tasting of honey.

We heard the shutting door.

She fell into the room, a terrible, crazed thing,
Dragging its heart like a dead child,
Gasping, fighting the music;
Swayed in a wilderness of faces,
Then sank in a corner to mourn among her hair.

In the kitchen my eyes spring tears.
All my blood in prayer,
Vicious, grappling with the ungenerous light,
Pulling the power down,
Pleading and swearing -
Out of the kitchen light
Into my tears, into my wet hands,
Into the wine-mess;
Till it had to come, the crisis, the last cry to him to know
                         Janet must have her Joe -

Janet, silent, dying among her friends,
Not with us, staring away from the fire, out of her hair,
Wondering after ...
What happened last night, Joe?
This is yours.
You look pale, you look grey, Joe.
Does the smell of dead roses sicken you?
Her heart was a rose,
Her heart was this dead rose, Joe.

You took away its farthing share of sun
In case it cast a shadow on your high summer;
But you'll sweat, Joe. And when you turn back for shade
You'll find
Only dead can sleep under forgotten petals.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I am your champion! In the lists of love
It will be your favour that I wear!
With fire and pride I will throw down the glove
For your honour! Dearest, I will dare
To wrestle with the angels for the key
Of Heaven if they will not let you in,
Throw them down to Hell, and I shall be
Your guardian seraph, O my sovereign.
I would have you throned where the lark sings
In the blue room of the sky for love of you.
I'll milk the breast of the moon to bathe your limbs
Before you sleep the quiet darkness through,
And with the impulsive sun, O grant me this! -
To wake you from your slumber with a kiss.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Give me a rough ring, with flowers round,
Let the sweetness grow on hard ground.
Fill the ring with gentle secret songs,
And draw those to whom my heart belongs.
He with slow forget-me-nots for eyes
In which his loose hair like a sunbeam lies.
Let him come.

He whose laughter bursts with glorious light
Upon the sun, and makes holy the night.
Let him come.

And he whose lonely daemon is the dark
Pride and brutal melody of the lark.
Let him come.
Ringing them round with gentle secret songs
I greet those to whom my heart belongs.
One will bring soft, living things to me
And fill my eyes with sky and the far sea.

One will stroke my limbs to trembling gold,
And give me the hand of God to hold.

One offers witch-wines to drink deep,
And act at last the fantasies of sleep.
Ringed round with gentle secret songs
I join those to whom my heart belongs.
To the first I give my golden limbs,
But he cannot learn my sun-hymns.

To the second one I speak the charm
Of darkness - but his light will come to harm.

And to the third I offer gentle things;
But he will bruise paws and tender wings.
So, in the wisdom of my secret songs
I share with those to whom my heart belongs
Three-thirds my kingdom.
One shall have my lands of wind and tree,
Of thoughts ranging free in the flight of stars.

One I bless with the sun and the moon in me,
The tread of angels lightly in golden grass.

And one must take this struggling rhapsody -
The night-wings beating behind bars.
Into my ring drawn and gently bound
With secret songs, the three healers are found.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *