I am now at the stage of shutting doors, against
Rainfall and nightmare; doors, left carelessly half ajar.
At the half-way stage of rusted wheels and wires,
Entanglement of sharp thorn- branches, closing off
Invisible roads, obscure signposts, of what
Once was, but cannot be born again now.
I bend down to pick up scattered dusty shards,
Tea-cups, torn papers, full ash trays left on a small
Table, and carpeted corridors, empty of unexpected
Visitors, who seldom knock, but enter now,
Or leave early if they do, without pebbled words
In their mouths, or acknowledgement in glazed eyes.
I am now at the time of carefully locking windows,
And doors at night, before mounting stairs,
To sleep, or else to lie with scratched open eyes,
Staring at dark walls, blank ceiling, or shut windows;
I am an insomniac, turning like dark waves,
The noise of waters, against a dark shore.
When at last, asleep, I recall – myself, alone
Outspread like water or a bent flower.
Where the sun takes off her shoes and walks
Among trees, splashing like wind or rain;
And the moon removes her clothes and sings
Like a nightingale, lost among green branches,
The moon’s body is made of mother of pearl
She shines like a candle-lit human skull;
I want to embrace her naked as wind,
I want to embrace her as a sultry wind
In Spain does, among chill cherry trees,
Or distant hills of mist before ashen nightfall.
Alan C. Brown