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.
The Golden Fish
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