No 165 - 2001
The Storm: Part 1
Inside here, it’s not so good, it’s a swirl.
And in the head, what was it like for you
With so much nuance, pleasure, perception
And no slack of sentimental leeway?
But the swirl will maintain us. Foxy Brown
Is saying ‘bèbè’ there, and my brother
Is falling to his death through lonely air
And the children enter and leave the house
And the pages float out from the blue shed
And the swirl will get us through, but to what?
I stood at the bar and gradually
Felt the back of my head growing lonely.
I left the bar later uncertainly
Looking out inquisitively falsely
Toward the street.
But I am here now in the longing
Of the memory of everything,
Regretful but undamaged. The light
Goes away along the old canal
In the oily old evening, the rain
Beginning later, invisibly
To start with, restoring
It all to a sort of tattered
Equanimity, a sense of sound
Of something’s everlasting
Unpretentiousness, the rain-sound
Of the park, the strange heraldic
Fountains fading, the benches
Expectant, the floating grey displacement
Of the tennis-courts at dusk.
And this is it. In the evening light
You can come toward me. I am
O.K. now. Do you remember?
We took our personal pronouns
For a walk in the rain.
And it all went so quickly.
I think of long ago,
Childhood, mittens clogged with snow,
The fast red sledge through the dark wood.
I would go back if I could
If it would bring me to these mornings
Where I come across my certainties
Like bright outriders only met
In doomed uprisings of the will
Left scattered on the slopes of sleep.
Out in the park slow shapes of trees
Infer themselves. The morning moves
Across the room. An open book
Is edged awake. The rainy light
Of early evening not-yet-rain
Comes round. Old age, the days float down
Through words toward the substances
Of indeterminate renown
At the sign of the Dog and the Beetle.
Here where the path is turning back
Through mist, improbability
And undeciphered incident,
I turn toward you, crying
In a squall of frozen gorse-bushes
And ask you to go on loving me.
And how will it not matter? Tell me the ways
In which it will not matter, the way of the wind
Among the great herd of absences, the way
Of the curtain drifting. Oh, it will matter.
The grim granite squirting dribbling
Fountain is dry. ‘Those were the days’,
Says the gurgle in the standpipe.
Old insects in their uniforms
Patrol the perimeter.
Shadows flicker, flutter
On the ceiling of an alcove
Like the powdery equipage
Of memory’s discontinuance.
I look for you always in these
Edgy summer evenings.
N. S. Willey is a poet living in Wiltshire. We publish here the first part of this two part poem.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The