What’s the risk we take, we the music makers, compared to the dancer’s shifting, slipping grip; the penalty taker’s injudicious shot that hits the bar; the climber and her crew lost on the implacable rock for a final hand hold?
For us maybe a clinker dropped across a piece of pristine harmony before a crowd we’re trying to impress. And even then at half time it’s a shrug and, “I didn’t even notice, mate, and I don’t reckon they did either”. Or maybe it’s stomach cramping laughter, the three of us hunched over, all in tears at the absurdity: the sacred made profane.
Death or glory under the lights, the sun, the stars, we the mutualists, the diggers and the levellers are bound in a cargo net of love that fills the heart and stops the breath. There’s a joy you simply cannot buy in the moment pledged towards the shared self.
Dog Latitudes §16 as if the houses were to be drawn across the loose earth on which they stand and go down as if the trees that shield us were to shake once and follow the houses roots up and branches down each the mirror of the other as if the sky already broken open were to fold and fold and swallow itself like water does as if we were to stand on nothing watching the symphony up to its last echoes and wonder what now what to do whether to step back or step forward or like the houses trees and sky itself just fold and fold and swallow ourself like water does
trespass two paces off the path and inside the cloistered trees / the brindled hare steps his paddles from the free earth’s edge and into the governed bracken / you belong to my two barrels says the keeper their two round eyes will watch you through nettles and brakes and bushy hollows right up to my privileged moment and your reckoning / and here we are we two you crazy free me creeping across the fallen leaves a poacher sans traps lifting only the mushrooms picking only the berries breathing just the loaded air and its traffic of loam and pine pitch and the musk of deer / for my time along the aisles and trancepts of these oaks and beeches i shall pay nothing owe nothing care nothing for your deeds and contracts because just as i own my bones my salts my neural tracks so these trees and their partner shrubs and brambles and the passengers who tread and slip and scramble own themselves as is told in the encyclopaedia of all time from alpha to this green glyph right here and now / and i am happiest right here and now and I will prevail amongst the trees in my time
how you are lonely in a crowd like the moth inside the cage of hands and each wingbeat sheds more of your powder and you can hear the calm voices and the shared laughter and they think that you’re with them out in the light but where you are is entirely dark
and do you find you asked after the first bottle (hesitantly because this reunion shared only the fumes of a maybe past) that tears come more readily these days? oh yes i agreed barely a day goes past without you looked into your glass lachrymae rerum you pronounced man’s relentless cruelty to man as the default state and far too long of trudging that same old road more like riding that same old train i said only this time it’s terminus bound with only the last few stations to come ah our waterloo you smiled kings cross for me i said and we laughed earlsfield you declared potters bar i countered vauxhall you intoned finsbury park i whispered and we laughed to tears as we used to laugh back when the line stretched far ahead and impatience grew as each platform glided to a halt and we yearned for the turnstiles and the streets beyond
it was an omelette two eggs and some chopped mushrooms the cat switched his tail as he always switched his tail when the evening pigeons settled on the hanging baskets one storey up she poured a vodka the last glass from the bottle from the belgorod relatives she watched some tele a couple of hours or more but she smiled at herself in the mirror at bedtime as she tried to recall exactly what the news of course always the news so what of tomorrow? what of next week? what is certain? february snow