Language in a Narrow Place
Index of titles and beginnings
The Island Nowhere remote / from the breaking wave / or the saline blood that flows / in the limbs of a mind ill-known / in the night-rooms widths
In the beginning Dawn delineation, / paling window, / room night-dark.
Language in a narrow place Few the words, as the brief exchange / between two people at the further end of day
Mortal eye, Eternal sight Outward, the unspeaking gaze: / no sight detains the eyes / which freely ungrasp days.
Dust From this dust / all that may be spoken of / takes being in the night; // and the motes hang in the still light of the morning air
The unforeseen The unforeseens / the present, and the seens / the world which never is:
The days define The days define / disordered rooms / but never give a door / by which an order might assume / a lastingness
From the thought of Rabbi Meir The hand comes little, clenched, / and goes long-fingered, / the loss the days gain, / a wisdom extended, / the winter beginning
Gentle the journey, strange the land Gentle the journey, / strange the land, / easy the unknown day. // The hand holds what it does not know / with care: releases what is done
Outrunning the bounds Tense runs apace / easy and free / to the arms reach. / Animates a space / as though remote.
Before the coming of the light Fixity of sight / iris glowing / in the half-dark / O not at some external thing
All comes and goes, dispersedly All comes and goes / on the road the colour of the sky / beneath low cloud
The senses singled light The person, threshold of person and of world, / portal of day, of sight, / a hands stretch to the limits edge, senses singled light, / words thoughts end, / presentiment upon the wakening act
The line of palings A line of palings in the sand, / each a gnomon marking out the time, / or a paling sequence in the mist / or bars across the moons disk
The flaw I walk upon it, measure days upon it, / stake my knowledge of myself upon it / inside horizons / but it is not true
The censor of the days A plane of light / rectangular upon a wall, / an arch of air; / exchange of sight / for what is seen beyond:
I dislike meaning, would sooner see the countryside I dislike meaning, would sooner see the countryside, / a journey in a life / light and open, a trap rattling along the road / to set me down at places and in plains // I am the unknown native of
Quick; a word Quick life; a word. Reviewers whittle on the influence / of writers you have never read nor heard: you sense the dead-weight spectres leaning heavily: / you, who do not know theyre there. The room / is charged with presences
The perturbation of the heavens At the valleys end / the waters of the spring / hold the night. / I came remote upon the source, / knew the pull of time / but no direction of return
The moons weight pulls upon the seas Once the angles put in place / other uses come; the spider in the cornice, / the starlings nest beneath the slate
One, a stranger, speaks One, a stranger, speaks, / giving a lifes account,/ the last light hour of the day / at the door behind his back
He has the rivers mist as guide He has the rivers mists as guide, / knows by the trees dense line / the path, the field by the dip, / the tides state by the weirs sound. / Night-journey.
If If the nature of the
way / and the tracts were known, if / the miles in the mind were
/ the miles to the feet, if / the lamp to the path were / the
light within the head / then the strangers hand /
would be upon / the rail of the stair: / it would be the strangers
Senses and elements
on a sunrise, daysprings fall / in neutral time, no state / beyond
the open hand
The pines Sparse along the ridge / the pines are black against the glow / that is the sky; the sun has gone, / the day that stands is falling into place / amongst the days we cannot know / save by what they leave: the bridge / of sight, of touch, of thought. / None of these bears out a weight.
Time is light on distance Time is light on distance / but heavy on the near at hand / deep resistance to the sense / of fading-to-remoteness
The mind before the face of distance The face cold to the unseen wind / is the measure of the dead night-hour
The small essentials The small essentials are gone / but the hour still remains, / cold, open, on the open night. // cold travel / on the membrane of the eye
The sight which has no weight Swift to the small horizon point / the sight which has no weight / and the centre of things which are vacated
The midnight comes that has no end The midnight comes, that has no end, / the foundering place- // Somewhere theres a placid surface / above a world which can no longer speak.
Dark, light, dark Night / a closely-written page, / lightning across a sky, / bolt of insight / over wastes of words. / Sheets of rain. / A form, / contrast between two forms
Free form Dark falls upon the lampless street / as though the mind were called aside / and given form more free. Shadows ride / the deeper density of sky. Fleet / the changes lives across the day; / the quiet sense of person falls away.
The Doorway Where senses do not touch they make no dark. / The shadow falls: unsubstanced as the thing I am, / deep to the margins of the days self-folding tense.
Demolished buildings Demolished buildings, where we spent a little time; /walls whose windows led our sight; we dont know / how they came to be, or when they first were lost to us
Sublunar Ways Unnumbered are the ways / by which a face might fit within a moon; / sight gives up the partial truth; / no entities or paths are made, / but only things of thought.
His fingers open and the cool drops fall The stone cistern takes the cave-cold spring, / holds it to a level and lets it free, to flow / amongst the stones. He drinks from his hand. / How like a mind / this spring of waters is.
Fugitive colour Disinterested line of sight, / a glance along a street unseen before, / unseen since, I would have said, / and only know I find myself / walking on its shady side
Malign Indifference What is it, that presents a malign indifference / to the open hour? The heart that would be stilled / itself, and the brain within a cloister.
Nocturne: the wind is noisy in the winter trees I stand at a lightless fork, / knowing alone / the road to my back, / and that not well. // The wind is noisy in the winter trees.
Iris of the Night As a night-sweat / on the brow, / the thin successions / worn residuum; / the small hours confine / wide within the open iris of the night
Part soul, part error Part soul, part error / high-builded, / half-degraded wisdom / through the lens.
Proteus He has no provenance, / who stands beneath the sky, / the land to his back, / who lifts the sea-borne stylus, writes: // The everlasting gale of time upon the limbus of the sea, / effacing all thats written in the sand.
Out from the mind Out from the mind / back to the mind. // What was / the dark / before? // What was the dark beyond?
Slenderly the lean days close Slenderly the lean days close / upon themselves. Nothing goes, / but stays here always, standing on its edge.
Firstlight falls clean Firstlight falls clean / on new worlds. / The hands / that hold unseen the slips of time / patient on the plain
Orders of the Eye Slim-stemmed day / hangs light. // The bud of day / closed tight. // Orders of the eyes / first-light.
Silent mystery When the riddling voices / are no longer heard, / silent mystery, unbroken, / invests no beginning, nor an end, / no wound / by which a sense perceives / or a person comes to be.
Effacing hours Somewhere near the point / comes immeasurable end. / Winter winds subtend / the fading of the light
Days, lives Days, seen from the
side, / are thin as leaves. / The mind retrieves / the unresolved
alone. / Days fall finished, / sink beneath the grass / absolved.
from this collection are presented