The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
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Monday, 20 December 2010
When Earth became a lesser sun
It was a sign
the first of many
that the world was ending slowly when
we heard the pylon sizzle
like a bacon rasher
just an early surge
of fire from earth's deep belly.
I'd often said to Mary
how the lines would be the death of us.
'Oh my, you do go on!' she'd say,
'yet when the canopy
is fully greened
we cannot even see the blessed things!'
I'd tell her how the lines
are modern man's
late answer to the ancients,
how to think of them
as modern ley lines - of a sort.
"They're lines of force," I'd say,
"or stave lines in the sky -
for music, too's a force
we do not understand."
Then I'd go on: "If this 'ere path
were iron filings 'stead of stones
and leaf mould, Mary,
they'd be rearranging,
jumping in the most amazing patterns
you could see.
So never mind
you cannot see them
I can feel them in my bones!
Instead of iron filings,
what we've got is us:
two people standin' 'ere, who knows
or thinks them knows
what happens in thems brains!" 'O, you
and your iron filings!' she would say,
'you do go on, you do!'
The Kingfisher had made it clear to me:
omen or first symptom, call it as you will.
We'd often seen it skim the lake,
a flash of Royal blue.
That day it was electric blue,
a lightning bolt that hugged the wires -
escape denied - before
it plunged, not into water, but
a web of steel that disassembled it.
I'm talking long before
the earth became another sun,
before it spread soft orange light
across the Solar void -
Aye, soft it was in those days,
just a night light in the nursery...
I got quite angry with her sometimes...
still, bless her that she visits me
between her visits to oncology -
and always, always
when they turn the key
to let her in, she'll ask
how I am doing,
and when will I come home.