A GRADUAL DEPARTING
More like pewter,leaning away from light
the granulations of our life deepening
so that sudden laughter springs up
and what was enters our days and
we hunt for more;these moments
when a dog racing across a beach
or rescuing a cottage from ruin
We appear to walk in and out of mirrors,
music embracing our grandchildren and
that slow dance of departing
so that each day is a rehearsal of sleep
and retreiving and the way we issue reports
at Christmas all the time relying on angels
and the images of the masters and robins.
In Cornwall we escaped to ancient stones again
and on North Hill looking across onto Exmoor
the blazing gorse and the way the land falls down
constantly escaping recognition and winter
territory and the animals who call this home.
We cling,we invent,we discover the rapture
and the past surrounds us with ghosts and riddles
and intuitive toys surprising us with wordplay
and even voices so that nothing is certain
and what we do and say changes the future
and the past and our soul songs
as we hold hands, never let go.
A BED THAT REFUSES TO DREAM
We are all holding very small birds in our hands
there are white vans everywhere taking away the lawns
the vicar was sent away at least two sermons ago
they say that they are here to measure up the sky
never tell a young child that it is all about stories
every so often the room has become too small to care
what do you do when your bed
refuses to dream?
Upsidedown is so yesterday and the future is already old
soon they will plant the clockwork flowers once again
on Sundays the glass god will turn off his hearing aid
we will pray for future ghosts and salute torn flags
unread letters will be stuffed into tidy white silences
when the brass band arrives visitors will leave early
there will be no speeches as matron has lost her voice.
Often it is the same dream waiting for a better time
it does not matter who is actually speaking to whom
there are usually people passing by who perhaps smile
you may be able to see the cedar tree still standing
as the dream winds down you remember the day it fell
what is going on is about broken bells and wheel prayers
all the people holding very small birds in their hands.
Sunset, you are your own fire days, broken arms of Christ days,
what does the meaning of words mean, what does the angel on the
bike mean, here come the night foxes scenting the human being,
say hallo to Santa days, doggy on the moon days, the President is
now ready to tell his night lies, and at the bottom of the garden there are
babies who do not belong and mother will not have any of it and
beginnings are made of endings and when the hotel finally opens are
the dreams already ready and who will tell us to close our eyes and
the man who runs the wet dreams shop finally gets elected and what
we all want to know is why teddy bears and very old ladies whose hands
are as soft as roses and does the God thing really believe in any of this
as he walks through the afternoon garden waiting for prayers to be invented
and sunsets and fire days and the broken arms of his son?
It all gets broken of course and bits fly off and become other things
and memory tricks and treats and fathers keep gathering the same old jokes
and when you visit mansions and country estates the rooms get smaller
and the lawns keep escaping and when the film crew arrives the dogs
don't even bother to bark because they have done all this so many times
and running with cats and horses
holds no magic.
If you want magic, try this.
SOMETIMES I GET SO TALL
Sometimes when I am preparing her for sleep
I get so tall that I become my father looking down
and I think I can tell the story of her dreams
and what fields she will encounter and almost
the music that she will hear before four a.m.
when she will need the toilet and some water
and I hope also my company and then it is my
mother's voice about the coming day and I am
now so tall that this is a floating room and the
bed has become a boat moving across an ocean
and we are both dressed in grass and stars and
when I wake up it is as if I have fallen into the
arms of our children who also live in this poem.
© David Grubb 2016