A Lens to the Sun


 drawing by Sarah Longlands



Index of titles and beginning of poems



A lens to the sun A provenance / takes a lens / to the sun./ The macula / follows the wind / and the turn / of the maze / to its end.

‘As air you live on no-man’s-heath’ As air you live / on no-man’s-heath / a medium / of human form. // Transparently / you stand the sight / towards the thing / too far to see;

Through spheres burn suns Through spheres burn suns / courses of unclouded gaze, / as plurally ourselves might burn, / living etched on days—

The sky’s uneasy in the fading light The sky’s uneasy in the fading light; / beneath, I feel unease accordingly / and, mute, can hardly bring to mind a lead / on what is wrong. It’s easy to misread / a world’s emotions as one’s own, to be / so plumbed and understood.

The beautiful polemic never was The beautiful polemic never was / save in its breaks of rigour / where vast suns downshine

A low hill with a spindly crown of trees A low hill with a spindly crown of trees / grown up round the ruin of a house. Tall, / a chimney and two corners stand; for these / are strong points still.

‘When he had proved to them that knowledge is innate’ When he had proved to them that knowledge is innate / his part within the dialogue was done.

Frank stare Frank stare / under lank hair; / eyes take in more / than they give; / The city that flows / beneath senses.

Awake, instanter Awake, instanter, dead of night, / silence, eyes wide in the dark. / What word shook me? Slight / upon the air the echo of its flight, / muffled now. Stark,

Understatement Understatement in a day / that hastens to be lost, / neutrality in one grey / unbreached sky. At most // a threading skyline rift / towards the end

Day’s spring Eternal day, eternal night, / homeless ones, and tutelars / of travellers. ‘Which way / do you go?’ ‘I follow light. / Above me always are the stars; / ahead, the first and final day.’

Neutral colour, ungendered touch Neutral colour / ungendered touch / unpolar sound / but colour comes / beyond the touch / the skin awake / and hearing / is vigilant.

Passing mood Passing mood, / shadowed noon-day pine-wood / seemed familiar / once. Time, filtering, as light: // depths in ways’ / declensions

Afternoon in early spring Cool ability of day, / deep-thinking, not immured / as unknown big events shall be / by backward-sighted history—

The doorways of night The doorways of night / displace the referred; / the symbol stands deadly / and no-one will know it / until it’s occurred.

Worlds assure, lay out the maze Worlds assure, / lay out the maze / of one straight road; / brief suns skim / across eternal days.

Nothing new is said Here, at the window / daylight fades / where once it grew. // Grows, where once / it fell away. Abstract / as an opinion, light // stands above a skyline / in a ruffling wind

The Old Wall A running translation / of an ancient text / —that’s a train of thought / and stands no paraphrase.

Each day goes where we shall go Each day goes where we shall go, / we conjecture, do not know; / a different dispensation, vast / as thought.

This silence, this darkness It is not the first silence, / this silence: / here, all that has sounded / resounds; / wind and voice, / wave and stonefall, / voice and prayer. // But darkness— / on the instant / all darknesses / are gated to the first.

A fragment of the past draws disinterestedly close A fragment of the past / draws disinterestedly close— / your hand might rest upon it / as does your mental eye.

City aspirations An adumbration of a road where there is none, / say, through complexities where new-built cities rise

Aporia Two fragments move; / you envision the whole— / matter and movement.

The arranging The arranging / falls upon the membrane of the mind.

Lake Isle In isolation, an hour floats, still; / a connection with a past / seems too strained to be the truth: // and the thought becomes obscure.

Why are matters as they lie? Why are matters as they lie? Never far / beneath the waking mind; but to enquire / is rarely apt; the truest loadings mar / the balance they are forced to bear

Mental hospital Austere light— / plain of wall. / Senses alight, / stay, slenderly, / quietly align.

‘Someone loved this line of houses once’ Someone loved this line of houses once, / this brick-built terrace on the moor, / up against the sky. I did myself, looked / out to see the skyline chimney-stacks’ // thin wind-blown smoke above the road / approaching home.

Strange to himself Strange to himself, he stands / at the end of the street he’s known / since childhood; now he’s grown / obscure and shy, demands // a distance, is aloof.

Open circuit Sounding waters, / falling without end / at the edge of hearing; / grains beyond count / resonant upon the skin / of night’s tympanum;

The Sun Imagination / bareback, / riding out the plain: / the single sun / riding out the sky / to pluralities of day.

The undergoing Forms should go to the simple / at the lastlight; after the undergoing / the modes of person are undone, / and pasts as though they had no form.

Flowing feeling Flowing feeling / in the shaping, volute / in quiet-moving hands, / free-rising form, / penetrance and skyline / of the opening of day.

Light widens Light widens. / Word-hinged worlds / turn: face days’ / clear eyes. / Stand above / the threshold.

Nine of these poems are presented here:
click on the underlined titles





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