Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Curtains

The leaves are coming down
the walls of my life
            are not more solid

I hear the leaves coming down
at night    they make the noise of footsteps
or the kisses of children
they fall like a curtain
             between the leaves
bits of a sky we try to remember

“There was in that man
had he been left unshaken by his stars
             a happy disposition”

On the other side of the curtain
the fathomless country lies about us
the farms
             sitting like loaves among the fields
the animals
            at home in their own breaths
needing no byres
           and birds never a roost

We have seen it
 we know it by heart
            men of no season

I shall build on nothing
on nothing build my house
out of the iron nail     remorselessly
hammered into the ground of this dead year

the nail    so bald  so cold
out of humiliation and the grinding feet
on nothing build my house
and when the leaves are fallen
and hammering is done
the curtains of the house will have been hung

Through which we glimpse
the place we shall inhabit
              full void     that memory

Nathaniel Tarn


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