'Le Tempestaire'

“water is meaningless without ships...” – Denis Glover, “Wellington Harbour”, 1974.

it towers, this silence,
wearing its sky
uncomplainingly :  5am,
daylight saving’s thin end,
(the laptop switches forward
, what perfect stillness

framed :  avenues,  
avenues :  then the edge
of waves where a gull’s
 unconscious falls
thickly through
listening :  what can

it do, the sea, it
states, re-states, 
loops the hour’s
liability : the wind
tastes of whisky : (a
clarity :) shadows
adrift  with 
their boats


(and how) under
wandering stars
and eyelids, under
whose gold
dust the sea’s
cycle sticks

in its rings, under
a horizon of thin
green lights, (and
the sea looked like
tarnished gold) their
undersea sparking,
your skype-
framed face, eyes
alive with a phosphor-
escent shrillness :

is memory, stroking
your hair, your
electricities, surface
crackle scratched

(over all) I have known ,
(after all) i have learned : how,
, in this sea’s syllabi
of midnights

(could I) such constellations can trail
to echo, announce pre-dawn
vertigoes of utterance

(tonight I’m swimming
 to my favourite island…)

as stars are sung, as
they wander the sky
& (slowly die…), to
the sun’s greater

that loop, these
generosities are
the least of it. as

stars and now
(as silence: ) comes home
to roost, as
a recording, repeatable :

(and now) that narrative
(never say goodbye, you
are the apple of my eye…)
has collapsed : no
more travelogues :

it’s true : love
as, now, the map
is broken, being

stood on the same
shore, within
the same screen, you
can no longer call
to me in that place

of the other. or : you
call to an other.

that everywhere
is a river within
the tug of the photograph,

(who) In the sunshine, (who) in the nighttime…

is memory,
again, in silver

re-flecting : bird, bird, bird, traced
again & again,  on sky’s avenue...

turns : brightening, : before
this, an image, which
(perfect) in itself is nothing
to speak of : silent cranes

unfurl their verbs, their
necking into the glacial dawn,
(comes home: ) some vast,
unspectated loneliness,
a coastal

gesturing, a myth
of distance, across which
everything answers.


and all I could not
speak : comes home (i
still can taste your
 lips, my hands upon…) as

blind ships nose the fluid
pulling space where
the dawn re-
sets its borders, a sky
freshly alive  with the birds
of misgiving, the birds
of disingenuousness, and the sky

creates its classics (the type
of memories that turn
your bones to glass…), a canon,
where, without
sorrow, I can shelve
all I have memorised : and i
is an echo, looping back
on itself, a margin

between the lost mundane
comforts : the rug’s colours
and those of the flipped-
down turntable, the desk
bare of its details,
the cat’s whiskers and
the heart of all that remains
unborn : (…the sun and air: )