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.