Juvenilia -Mortlake (2005)

This was written in 2005 while watching a group of rowers across the Thames.

Mortlake

My thoughts were still,

No wind across the water.

Though voices carry far in the evening

I saw across, but did not hear

Your chatter or the loud hard clatter

Of your feet upon the boarded pier.

 

It was a freak of nature

That refused to carry your noise to me

And let me see you, and all of yours

Shout like ghosts shout

Play like shadows play

In silence.

 

In the failure of all science in that instant,

I knew no speech

But instead a knowledge independent of sense

And a language where meaning is meant,

And not guessed at.

 

The yellow light

And the restless tall grass told me

Every beat and every blink.

Where your leg touched the water

And sent a whisperless ripple,

I knew you through the river.

Saw the pulse in your wrist

Enunciated each time in the tones

Of a child raised before the rupture of tongues.

It was simple

As it crossed the reach, across the reeds

And changed me.

 

Where I look up, trees court the sky

And cover it at once

Lies of omission scrawled

Over the high cloud and cutting

The jet trails with branches.

The sun cuts your silhouette

And blinds me.

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