The Isle of Wight,
climbing to its highest point.
I'm yards behind the leading boy
who stops, triumphant, on the brow
and looks around, seems mesmerised,
then looks at us:
"Up here!" he calls, "Come quick!"
and waves his arms, shouts: "You can see
the whole wide world from here!"
It's early days of space probes; images
of earth afloat in space are cropping up
in papers and elsewhere. I too can see
what he has misperceived:
the island as the Earth
suspended in an azure space
of Solent and the sea.
Except for this - he sees it too -
our Earth is tethered, not quite free:
down by The Needles space runs out
and isle and mainland seem to link.
"What's happened there?" he asks
and points. (Quite solemn now.)
"Bit dodgy that, I think!"
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...
It all depends, you see, how you go about it. And that I cannot tell you, for that will be dictated by you and by you knowing your friends...
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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