A Bit of Love

He must rise now. No more hiding
in hospital sleep or skill of the hands
that fold him and hold him.

He must fumble his old fingers
and hear the sirens’ carouse
through streets pitted with cries.

The lamplighters went home years ago
with the striding night policeman
and chink of the dawn milk-round.

That stout world has become a trinket
in the projects of his grandchildren.
The shifts that governed it are gone.

He must rise now. He must write a letter
in his well-taught hand-writing:
a bit of love that will make her blush.


Festival of Stone

The chink of hammers is a song
like blackbirds interrupted, alarming
one another in the beauty of the morning

over the thud of mallets, raspings on stone
as the sculptors bend and sweat
and the skirts of their tents blow out.

The chink of hammers is like the wind that plays
on plane leaves keyed to a ripple
in the up-draught from the water

and all is flash and shatter of light
as the surface breaks open, parting
to show the face of the stone.

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