In that valley 
bounded by the sea, by restless activity
and by the sulky ruffling of that loch 
with its steely eye, cold heart, you stand,
implacable metal in hand,
and eye the angles of the tree
its planes of money, and analyse 
how it will lean and fall 
to sweat and the deft cut.

You have lichen in your hair,
your fingers brown as twigs,
mud oozes at your feet -
stand still and you would root to the hill 
turn purple as a birch in autumn, or gold 
as a larch in the fall.

The halls of your heart are wide 
and quiet, and somewhere 
in those halls I reside, softlywhite, 
womanlike and intricate, baffling.

And you would come there if you could
with your heavy tread, your steady eyes 
perplexed and fearful, 
wisely you would eye me 
to gauge my girth, the angles and planes 
of my worth, which way I might 
lean and fall 
if you but knew how
the contours cut.  

And I would come to your call ...
but you stand mute
with those gleaming eyes, that budding heart 
unwise, untried, and all too unplanned.  

Your hands wide and spread, scrubbed and bare, hold lack
yet you care, I see you care,
as you turn your back and
step towards the light you recognise.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem