from VESPERS


92

I refrain from breathing the whole story
for mutual imperfect understanding
already apprenticed to habitual mistakes

Land mass, land lease, land held
handiwork askance remain in keeping with
so many rivers known to drizzle through pure rock

Each night I possess only incoming discussion
to repair, each succeeding day I answer
what I thought you asked, in keeping with respective roles

Lavender tea makes recognition play though
the variety of sounds shining on sea salt
where the waves turn shallow silk

The waves are parts of us that leave the hearth
then come back as if commanded in the privacy
of our own homonyms made palpable again




93

Line apart from dance
alloys swift
notice
the divinity
holds sway:

obey
for understanding to be
noble

artifice
may assume the form
of friction
tabling an other
wise innocent
repartee




94

Shear sheep (fleece pieced
whole to bounty up
need via holdings)

Held things (this minute)
elude eventually every
present moment

Whatever music is made
possible encounters
probability along a scale

(What are you telling your children
and yourself? What are you making
into statements to match actuality?)

A sinecure remains pure theory.
Someone feels responsible.
It is night again, an empty, picture-free exterior.




95

Sleep off selves
Link spines with whom you love
Imagined enemies blend into storied sleep
Sketch artists lose ephemera

A pretty window goes to black
And candlelight imposes drift
Upon the restful prayer
Wan light defrays the cost of autumn

Gold leafage falls to paths
They stain with chance finesse
Until the thought of diary
Relentlessly includes variety

Like this mellowing in which the body
Comes to feel itself as seasoning
Into warm wisdom parsing
Vision and habituation mornings, afternoons, all evening.




96

silence borders open window as night long fallen
holds the leap of faith and relatives still
correspond vitality of prayer as though
workings and working were adherent magistrate
the strata marked by breath points in the composition
mused and ruffled and inflamed majestic
altogether a locale of higher lorikeet
beside the village altercation in the midst
of talc and cloth and slippage




97

not to lose
the moment
sleep

recuses
itself from
seeing hearing speaking




98


grass blade
apart from
grass blade planted
mirrors as they are

used to being
used to
used

aftercare not respite
minimalist not poor
choice not hindrance

now is special
by virtue
of subtraction
plus notice

of nothing
exquisitely
in form
out of shape
in touch

affection
in perpetuity
this
this
and this




99

outside it is eighty-nine degrees
at midnight twenty-three
I am accustomed to tethering
experience to innocence

motel walkways always hold
the day's heat
sheltering the body from mind
light and the moon

cools postlude of a free form
summer where and ice machine
scuffles raw data
whining behind chrome

I hear a man's voice
in a mild drone
capsulizing the subtraction
of idea to allow the soul




100

Central tendencies keep pace with
and without objective
thought. A measured sentence
(held whole note)
proceeds at an agreed pace.

I keep listening to the special
feature on the radio
about near-death experiences,
plural. Various scientists
and various subjects
trade near zeal in opposite
directions. Is complacency
a heart-
felt drama?

One of these days sleep
is going to last
too long. One of these nights
the prayer fed
languor will have
shown caesura power
at an unexpected tilt.

Who has the right
of way along this
lane? "Anyone, anyone?"
Sweet daylight lifts
after the coma
blends into allegations
of a full life.

One of us approaches
depth with or without
perception, all good
intentions aside.
All suppositions
walled off by different
climates absent
a control mechanism.


     Sheila E Murphy 2010