I. after R. M. R.
Now listen, love: the hills are calling, and
the bells are ringing in the square. Don’t close
the window; let the wind go where it blows,
that too-audacious river of a different land.
Awaken, slowly: turn your glass of sand
around and ask the day for what it knows
to be a whole new morning. Clean, it goes
on secretly upon the watch held in your hand…
so if there be an arching angel’s wing
to whirl so slightly in this room of dreams,
remember: night is never one to sing
along – I will be here, and in a heart
where loneliness is never what it seems,
we will remember how it is to start.
II. after E. E. C.
my darling(if thou shalt ever learn to know
why this short word could mean too so)
your nakedness is mine:and in this be
a flower’s warmly coruscate(in)finity
so what we if(that in long nights)do flow
all urgently(up)on each other go
through near and here – and secrecy doth see
the trembling hand(upon a tranquil knee
lies one and another)and a youthful head
whose hair is living with the ifs and whys
of how these bodies(kiss and touch and twine)
weather a winter night to warm(they said
to one another, i love you)her eyes
so sparkling in the dawn’s chill twilight shine
III. after P. V.
The dissipating night unveils this pair
who hungrily have taken root within
each other; flight and feather fill their lean
white flanks, which tangle, glowing, where they dare
to touch. She stirs, delighting, while her hair
wipes sleep so softly from his eyes. Their skin
glows warmly, morning like an angel’s sin,
and standing languidly she strokes him where
her kisses set the stars alight. He kneels before
his eager lover: if he is young then she
is younger still, and nibbles her – for more
she throws the windows open, body arched;
her laughter is the light that floods in, he
the little death that ecstasy has touched.
IV. after P. N.
So often have I reached for you and found
that you are far away. Out of my reach
the grasses tremble in the field, and each
lone bird runs quietly out of sound…
But morning, this one morning, you are bound
within my eager arms, as if to teach
me how the waves that throw themselves in breach
of shore can still be gentle. Turn around,
and let my hands trace out your smooth contours.
Your beating heart speaks; in response, the hours
are shadows growing ever shorter. Here
we lie, then, playing in the dawn – no worse
a miracle than what the night empowers,
or the whirling conch that slyly is your ear.