Wednesday, 3 October 2012

All For A Place

I an old man stare into the fire –
It is laughing at itself with phoenix-flames.
When I was young I stirred things up,
Sizzling the waters into a gusty
Plume of steam, strong and mindful in the strong-willed air;
            All for a place under the willow tree.

In the heart of fire is heart of light,
Unknowable, like the hot flash of water
On a summer’s day. The air would nuzzle me
And conspire with my thoughts, a sleepy accomplice;
I held my life in the cup of my hand;
            All for a place under the willow tree.

A log slips and cinders crawl like souls...
My love (that was the great prize)
Has gone. I cannot remember when. A fire
Is within me, it burns my paltry hand.
Outside, the wind is full of back-talk, it sneers;
            All for a place under the willow tree.

The fire has fallen. I take a stick
And stir the ashes of analysis. A lonely man
In a cottage of stone, I sit with a milky
Cup of tea. This knowledge has shrunk the muscle
Of my heart. Could I fall on my knees and blow in the grate?
            All for a place under the willow tree.

 ====================
© September 1978

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