Laid Bare

Here the days are long
and my heart stirs - a bright pebble
at the bedrock
of a bright pool.   The sun

glances on the water and 
strikes my eye: lanced 
rose-gold.   Here the stones 
erode into ledges, edged

off the land and shaling 
into the sea.   If cut, they stand 
tall, erectus, tall fingers of 
pointing and warning, of

circularity worded and thrown 
criss-cross webbing talk 
over the fire as we 
plan and save, contain and

commemorate, condemn and 
celebrate: mug of bright 
water, food in the mouth, skin 
burning with the freeze

at the back.   In the shadow 
of the stones my pool floats, 
timeless, a glittering fish 
with ebony eye swivelled

round and in and down, up 
and back, longing for colour. 
The wind speaks to my scales, 
the water washes over me,

cleaning my fingers.   The brain-cave 
is still and empty, the pulsing 
wires unhooked and lying, 
connection broken.   The chamber

is swept of rubble and scree, 
rubbish accumulated 
thrown away until the walls 
gleam, are scraped clean.

Here is the hollowing, the scouring 
of sand grains scrubbing insides 
free of memory.   The laden heart 
unburdened in the gusty air, sea

running high, the old stones browning, 
flagstones bearing the weight 
of the present.   A poet lived 
a long time, in silence and

great storm, in a neat house nearby. 
I envy him his 
printed words, his 
known eye.

For me, tomorrow, I carry space home, 
and bear different weights now: 
huge stone, bitten hands, browed 
sweat: labour of love.   His warm skin,

his smooth muscle, in the morning 
claim my stony silence and the 
awning of my eyes.   I pluck 
the small weight from the water

its shiny surface wets my palm.
This place is cold and wearing
but it brings gifts from the past
out of the harsh wind, off the stripped land.
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