White boxes, windows set like pock marks in their sides.
The dice were loaded, missed the dream
and fell to earth among these hills -
a windfall for a gambler -
And where they fell we christened them a town.
Earth-creatures crawling out of slimy caves
occupied the empty boxes by first light,
revelled in them, thought them fine,
and, peering through the pock-marks,
found the scenery divine.
The boxes caught the feel of life within,
refused to stay inert. Between them, underground,
live cables ran for power and light,
which feelings somehow infiltrated. Grill
and fissure fanned intoxicating draughts -
essences so close to breath
that brick and mortar softened into life.
The scattered cubes were drawn together,
cell to cell with common boundaries,
into some kind of body.
Excitement like an earthquake shook
the stone and rattled
the small windows to their bones.
The creatures felt the life of brick and stone,
but knew that theirs was more,
that theirs was married to a soul of unknown kind.
From soul come dreams
whose contents are the things we do by day.
(And what they did was cover earth in boxes -
both earth and earth's sublime austerity.)
Soon flights of fancy flew them to the moon,
for moon could understand what earth could not,
and moon knew barren beauty like a tapestry knows thread -
and beauty is not fazed by petrifaction or its threat,
but works in simple ways:
the same repeated subtleties bring anarchy to law.
Self-replication. Moon as blueprint for the earth,
that first earth, Eden-earth. For them,
our ancestors, the nearly-men, becoming men,
the caves were Eden, soulless Eden, Eden
replicating semblances and presences,
impressions and facades, in their new city.
They could not free themselves from it,
it followed them down every street
and slid into their boxes - boxes
time would blend in with the hills. Theirs was
the truth that homes make strangers of us all.
After the recession...
divorce rates falling