Poetry

Blessing the house for departure; Intensive reading with Diana

Blessing the house for departure

The suitcases are outside the door.

The handbag and the umbrella.

Just time to touch the doorjamb

and say the departing prayer.

God bless this house and all

who live in it. Have lived,

will live. May it stand

savouring the touch of this prayer

as roses fade in a vase

as light falls on the dust

on a table. As night

lowers its eyelids, then opens

them to regard a new vacant day.

No chatelaine with keys

could do more than this final

touch of the hand, making

a furtive cross on the doorpost

or going into each of the rooms

breathing prayer on the photographs

on dressers, blessing the paintings

to keep their eyes open, to know

they are regarded and prayed over

now the house is properly closed

and the taxi is heard in the drive.

 

Intensive reading with Diana

On blue settees, at companionable angles

we settle with our books and journals.

An intense deep silence arises

as if from our expelled breath, though

we breathe so quietly, being absorbed

deeper with each second’s passing. (I

know this by a surreptitious glance:

your nose is almost at the binding, my

eyes seem to gobble the text to re-think

the thought behind it which seems splendid

and which I long to share, except

both must go on, uninterrupted, reading

as though our heads, our hearts are pulled

over a steaming, scented, beneficial bowl

((we’ve brought our own concealing cowls

which hide our straining Madonna faces))

until, hours passing, thoughts drunk in

one or other looks up, filled with words.

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