Darkness

 

Darkness at midday, night in the morning –

darkness that can be felt – the ninth plague –

a new decade begins – the third of the twenty first century –

fire on the hills – an orange glow in the sky –

clouds – with darkness on the one side and light on the other –

spiralling – terror – mountain ranges – a phoenix

consumed – what of the life within them? The Lord

said to Moses, When you return to Egypt, see that

you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have

given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart

so that he will not let my people go. Our leaders – is

this their destiny? Ancient rites renewed each summer –

loss and rebirth – but this is something unexplained –

the finger of nature – a miracle – a glory in a dark cloud.

 

 

Little Ice Age

 

window

to another

world

 

winter

early

 

sea

now ice

 

waterways

roads

 

sleighs and sleds

joining

with skaters

 

classes

linked

 

sky

heavy with

snow

 

the Mute

of Kampen –

a witness

 

 

Henrick Avercamp (1585–1634), the Dutch artist, recorded these events in a series of paintings.

https://www.nga.gov/features/slideshows/the-little-ice-age.html#slide_1

 

 

Disappearance

 

The sun appears each day –

wonderful – each night

the stars. Marvellous – this

certainty. But what of us?

Each awaits a sinking sun.

But this reality – a multitude –

constellation after constellation

disappearing –

for this is what will be.

The prophet spoke –

assuring us of this impossibility –

and yet it is – for this the scientists

conclude – humanity overwhelmed.

Waves on the sea appear and disappear.

Unspoken, unforeseen – the singular becoming

universal. Before the equal sign a plus or minus –

can we now change the operation –

the many speaking – a multitude

appearing like the stars.

 

Jeremiah 33:19-22

 

Virgin Annunciate

 

Crowned with gold

Her beauty seen

Hands folded

Eyes downcast

A moment of eternity –

The one who was and is

Incarnate

Within

 

 

secretly –

another

 

abloom

before the

spring

 

one by one

 

daybreak

within

 

a question –

a reply

 

fixed gaze

of an angel

 

arisen

 

darkness

light

 

on earth

as it is

heaven

 

spring

of living

water

 

a boy

born

 

the rise

and fall

of the sun

 

 

 

Beyond

 

Behind our house a curve of railway track,

beyond, a wooded landscape, rising steeply.

I crossed the tracks and wondered through the blackened

scrub, I found a path, and followed, keeping

to its twists and turns. The landscape changed,

misty grey then openness. A tiny

path emerged, departing from the main,

delicate, above, the tranquil sky,

I followed, soon a view of distant hills.

Why am I writing this? Beyond

our world is something more. Or this – infilled.

Reality. When lovers sense a fondness,

their individuality transformed, what is

becomes what will be, and will be what is.

 

Starlit

 

Star – yesterday today – and yet –

tomorrow. Time expands – one becomes

a multitude. And yet – alone: a sun

in blue. A point – timeless – light – bright

and clear. Yesterday my forefathers

saw – I see today – my children’s children

witnessed the same – for time in circles

bends. Mary said: where am I? – looking

at the sea – a single boat – sunlit.

I answered – like the boat – an unknown

place. She, on the veranda, half shadowed –

asked again – where am I? Is this our place –

lit by a star? A circle’s centre. A light-filled

moment – before and after – unknown.

 

Open Space

 

At ninety three a life is simplified.

Soon after dawn awake, a shower, a slow

walk up the drive – the paper fetched, a shave,

porridge, a cup of tea. He’s not alone –

a partnership of over sixty years –

in golden light she sits with him, transfigured.

Heidegger philosophised a clearing –

an open space within a forest – rigour

marked his thinking, no necessity

for proof, instead a discipline – from darkness

light, in hiddenness a radiance.

My fathers sees a cloudy sky – an ark

of dark divinity – all that is human

replicated in all that is inhuman.