Back and forth flickered his net
with a shimmer, and whirring stems
stirring and whispering in the haze.
But little did the lepidopterist know
there were lions in the long grass;
lithe numbers, labeled days.
This one's for John,
who was suddenly called away
by the delicious roots of a spreading yew.
He crumbled softly in his room,
until an empty service finally drew
the life from his body,
like poison from a wound.
Ribbons of shining cars:
The countryside in parts
Will always be ours.
Drizzled in a distant June
as silver lace, let smoking
breathing moonlight race
in living strips, let temple steps
be made of every smiling road,
through fields that flashing, leapt by swift
as hedgerows drinking yellow dust,
that floated in a silent drift
and blew around there - missing us.
He came to the city as a child,
breastfed on the traffic lights.
Bawled endlessly, while his mother
Went to school every other day
Lessons like so many bad dreams
Then youth passed away, and a father came
in the shape of a small-time Manhattan ****,
and blossom fell streaming from every tree.
In that great city - by January,
the boy was newly teasing death.
In one way or other, walking the streets,
asking after ****.
Sodden fur, half buried by leaves,
a grey squirrel floats through grey trees.
On a bitter night, winter glisters,
under the crumpling tread of cars.
Now as the wind upon your fingers,
Now as the darkness between the stars.
I began my dream dinner party
with an icebreaker.
Then over the candelabra I leant in,
advised the Arch-duke to run to my cabin
and take the kevlar vest.
On my left was a vigorous guest,
from the Vienna School of Art.
He regaled the table with Chaplin impressions
and a heartfelt account of Passau.
As our night advanced, I saw him glance
more than once at the glittering Empress.
And there I felt continuity echo
and all of history shift.
We're drifting in the evening,
dreaming with the leaves.
The autumn holds a moment,
a portent in the eaves.
The season heaves.
Brown skeletons are gleaming.
The clouds are only swallows
borrowed from bare trees.
The washed canvas sky
dries with arrows of geese.
A watcher breathes
in cloudy gasps, and grows.