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LONGING

Whiteness are the cries:
The gull’s long falling.

Souls, dead sailors,
Yearning for the taste
And smell of their women.

Hungry for the certainty of land,
A green that does not oppress the chest,
(The cold density of blackness).

Weightless, they long for weight,
For edge, an up and a down,
The rolling hills,

The cold, bright iron of sunlight,
The balm of church bells,
A pattern to days,
A scent of mown grass
After rain.

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SOUL’S MUSIC

This, then, is the music.
My head: a rippling stream,
A passing breeze,
A rustle, a lifting
And a falling.

Notes that cascade and tumble
But hold still.
New green leaves, new shade;
Harmonic tides,
Distant waves pierced:
The gull’s wheeling turn;
A slow stuttering starlight;
A bloom of sun, a drift of moon.

Fingers rippling on water strings
A remembrance, an essence, a perfume,
A rise of incense.
The turning of a page,
The sound of honest paper.
A rhythm of gardening,
A stroke of brushes,
A slow file turning soft, bright silver,
An edge revealed.

Trembling cascade,
Inevitable shift
From melancholic
To elegaic,
A broken heart soothed
Somehow
( but never mended).
The smell of rain.
The smell of summer.

A sequence moving along time,
Planned but reckless,
A bed, a couch, a cradle.
Always building to this matchlessness:
The revolving, wheeling heavens.
A path between dawn and dusk,
A road paved amongst the stars.

It is neither the truth
Nor the lie of words,
Neither the insistence
Nor the revealing of maps.
It is weaving the name of a soul,
A secret name known by all.
This music, a familiar mystery,
An itch, a longing, a homecoming
Just beyond that green hill.
Just beyond that hill.

***

There is that sort of dream wherein one listens to, or manages to play, the very essence of oneself, the most perfect delightful complete sounds, the most exquisite melody. Probably a compilation of the oldest, forgotten echoes from childhood, the phrases and rhythms that themselves formed the brain’s shape, how it moves within itself. Always fascinating, the way a composer or musician can be recognised by a phrasing, a pattern of intervals, a sequence of chords. As if they always return to those notes that name the shape of their own soul.

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