Friday, 24 October 2014

Enough Light: Three sonnets, one prose poem and an asymmetric scream - 5


On grief, en verve


HOW BIG IS IT?

It is the size of
long loves lost
lovers' fading faces
fleeting ecstasy of dust
It is the size of
a daily smile
the endless thrill
of oscillating refuge and release


WHAT COLOUR IS IT?

It is the colour of
the bare-remembered hours
holding and cooking and playing
with those beautiful children
forever gone
It is the colour of
the helping hand
extended to a stranger
in their sudden time
of peril


HOW MUCH DOES IT WEIGH?

It weighs the same as
the misty smile
of each fallen friend


It weighs the same as
the lifted heart
that sees the dawn


HOW DEEP IS IT?

It reaches as far down as
those once-upon home-bound moments
knowing that boy-child smiles
will burst and hurtle
up and down the stairs
It reaches as far down as
the mind that wraps
around you
when you are truly lost
in a fictional world


WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

It tastes like
the repetition and assurance
of each summer following 
summer
each ritual journey
each comforting pattern
each family game
It tastes like
the rippling joy
of new invention
each time the opportunity
presents
itself
again


HOW FAST IS IT?

It is as swift as
the cancer that
recurs
again
It is as swift as
the poem that
never
ends


IS IT FIERCE?

It is as gentle as
my father's parting hug
his loving life
his final ask:
Did I do ok?
It is as gentle as
the paintbrush wand
that Monet used
to tell the world:
Look! Joy!


IS IT STEALTHY?

It is as stealthy as
the life that left
the little boy
safe and happy in the womb
unable - or unwilling - 
to join us in the
airborne world
It is as stealthy as
the languid words and
songs and games
that sons and father
turn, from time to time,
to joyous moment-filling
play

HOW SUBTLE IS IT?

It is as subtle as 
the mysterious fug of
Christmas
a family building its myth
and leaving it
in the past
It is as subtle as
the mysterious air
of a long walk
filling limbs and lungs
and circling us back
to the beginning

HOW REAL IS IT?

It is as real as
the dreams you once had
of one future or
another
somehow now
impossibly impossible
It is as real as
the infinitesimal mark
the only thing
of which to be sure:
to be a good
grain of sand



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