A Road Assumed


drawing by Sarah Longlands


Index of titles and beginnings


‘A fragmentary arriving, leaving’ A fragmentary arriving, leaving, / in long mornings not yet light / and in mornings long from sight, / recall as unfixed as a presentiment.

‘A Road Assumed’ A road assumed, at one with nameless grainy dawn, / rain shining on the roofs, and still too dark to read / whatever map is held—seems long ago, inborn, /
but that’s untrue. Sight makes miles: and all days bleed / as though torn out before their time

Evening air The local wind that habit vales / rise up as the evening cools; / presences of movement only, / lives of touch and voice / without a form

‘He finds his own belief uneasy to observe’ He finds his own belief / uneasy to observe; / he stares, as at a grief. / How it must unnerve // in dismantling! Not so. / He has never known / how assumptions grow / until they’re thrown.

He hears meanings He hears meanings where others hear / an intermittent ruffling wind; / the disturbed waters rhyme for him, / and, for him, the momentary change // of shadows speaks.

‘How imperative an edge’ The beginnings of a journey; the platform’s edge / an all-familiar token of the traveller; the town / unknown now to his back; a high-walled street’s / approach lets silence stand alone.

How strange, how familiar Seen as strange, now: tomorrow / a taken in a landscape. Parts / of oneself as this. Most, perhaps.

Increments, decrements Awareness treads in steps, no matter how / the surface seems to glide: at once / the window’s lighter than it was, / the sun is at the sill

In Eleusis

i  ‘Under thought’s topology’

ii  Let the light come down

iii  A day so new it has no light

iv  ‘Day’s beginning or my own?’

v  Perspective

vi  Days’ profiles

vii  Days, lives, ages

viii  Unstationed, the Night

vix  The last evolving hour of night

x  A day bears every weighted weightlessness

xi  ‘Unemotioned by the thought of death’

‘In what medium is the flight of thought?’ In what medium is the flight of thought? / I can say no more than the evening thrush / who marks the cooling of the afternoon / with his high-wall song. I can’t give purpose / where it bears no case; nor can the fluid / sentence of his notes define my hearing / of his thought.

Old blackbird Old blackbird, / meagre-feathered, / watchman of first-light / whose endless winter’s / muteness is not far— / you know this: / it is in your song.

Opaque, complex Opaque, complex / from the outside; / simple / singleness, / the centre.

Summer’s mortally aware at the day’s end Summer’s mortally aware at the day’s end. / Evening brings the scent of elders lonely / by the stream in tiny-flowered fullness; shades / darker than the leafless darks of winter days / draw beneath the banks of bloom. Yet the scent / is weightier than passing time — the stillness on the air / a loaded presage filling dusk: and part-elsewhere.

‘The less upon the mind, the day grows long’ The less upon the mind, the day / grows long, knowing little / of itself. A speculative width, / window-shaped upon a wall / held out at arms’ length: tall / chimneys’ corbelled shades / lie sawn upon the terraced roofs, / and move.

‘The sun upon the curve of sea and the light day floats’ The hands that hold the unformed day now let it go. / He stays ashore to watch the star-set, magnitude / n magnitude until the low-horizoned wanderer remains. / The sun upon the curve of sea and the light day floats.

‘The wheel turns from sky to track’ In thinking that it travels straight / it revolves about a heaviness unseen. / As evening comes, a cadence changes— / echoes once unheard / are clear.

The Traveller Bare room, night-arousal in an unseen flow / of air, he asks the night which is about to go: // Where is it, this place which you move to be? / —Specific places don’t mean much to me.

Through the lancet’s void Through the lancet’s void / falls starlight, on the floor, / the silent room buoyed / up by night, idea of a door / unknown.



thirteen poems are presented here, including the full text of In Eleusis:
click the underlined titles







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