Dear Bryan WynterDear Bryan Wynter


This is only a note
To say how sorry I am
You died. You will realize
What a position it puts
Me in. I couldn’ t really
Have died for you if so
I were inclined. The carn
Foxglove here on the wall
Outside your first house
Leans with me standing
In the Zennor wind.

Listen. Put on Morning

Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
A man’ s imagining
Suddenly may inherit
The handclapping centuries
Of his one minute on earth.
And hear the virgin juries
Talk with his own breath
To the corner boys of his street.
And hear the Black Maria
Searching the town at night.
And hear the playropes caa
The sister Mary in.
And hear Willie and Davie
Among bracken of Narnain
Sing in a mist heavy
With myrtle and listeners.
And hear the higher town
Weep a petition of fears

Enter a Cloud


Gently disintegrate me
Said nothing at all.

Is there still time to say
Said I myself lying
In a bower of bramble
Into which I have fallen.

Look through my eyes up
At blue with not anything
We could have ever arranged
Slowly taking place.

Above the spires of the fox
Gloves and above the bracken
Tops with their young heads
Recognising the wind,
The armies of the empty
Blue press me further
Into Zennor Hill.

The Night City

Unmet at Euston in a dream
Of London under Turner’ s steam
Misting the iron gantries, I
Found myself running away
From Scotland into the golden city.

I ran down Gray’ s Inn Road and ran
Till I was under a black bridge.
This was me at nineteen
Late at night arriving between
The buildings of the City of London.

And the I (O I have fallen down)
Fell in my dream beside the Bank
Of England’ s wall to be, me
With my money belt of Northern ice.
I found Eliot and he said yes

Against Complaint

Though the amaryllis sags and spills
so do those my wishes serve, all along the town.
And yes, the new moon, kinked there in night's patch,
tugs me so — but I can't reach to right the slant.
And though our cat pads past without a tail, some
with slinking tails peer one-eyed at the dawn, some
with eyes are clawless, some with sparking claws
contain no voice with which to sing
of foxes gassing in the lane.
Round-shouldered pals

Ornithogalum Dubium

Lame again, I limp home along Lawn Terrace
with a flowering sun star in a paper wrap

then back to the village with a lame cat
twisting and woeful in her cage.

Bread these days isn't baked to last:
how sad those posh loaves thudding off

in pine breadbins all around the Heath:
soulless latterday pets, frisky for a day

or two, then binned or thrown to foxes,
loaves just an inch of gloom below

the caged birds you notice in corners
of those same mansions when you seek

Hazy Alley Incident

Girl shouting Oliver! at the top of the cut-through
by Jacob’ s Gallery, you have now entered
the slenderest of histories, the skin-bound book
I store between my temples; in that mean
and moonless city, you must hang fraught
in your too-long coat, not a winner, but placed,
and in this cutty version of forever, forever
calling on your unseen beau, one flake in
a limbic blizzard, one spark in the synaptic blaze.
And now the rain turns, light but going steady
on the Willamette. Along the bank, I lift my pace

The Shuffle

Skipping out from the major international cocktail party
with my becleavaged blight, a jeroboam in her tight fist,
I broke open my copy of Sarcasm for Beginners, i. e., men.

Never had I seen so many pairs of to-the-elbow gloves.
Never did I see a puttoed ceiling groan so with thin talk
as the great, the grim and the gone pressed terrible flesh,

so many penguins offering tastesome wisps and skimps
from doilied salvers: cherry-shaded caviar, cheese puffs,
dark sugared berries, dainty octopods, gently vinegared,

Why do you stay up so late?

I’ ll tell you, if you really want to know:
remember that day you lost two years ago
at the rockpool where you sat and played the jeweler
with all those stones you’ d stolen from the shore?
Most of them went dark and nothing more,
but sometimes one would blink the secret color
it had locked up somewhere in its stony sleep.
This is how you knew the ones to keep.