Gregory Dally: ‘His Oracle’s Advice’

His Oracle’s Advice

You’ve arrived late, an outline traipsing the cut field.
You’ll invoke hallucinations
and learn to inhabit them on the lark

to that river. If you compose yourself
like a cavalier, you’ll get by. It’s all about linking
the rhythm in the strides to those of the heart.

That gnarl in your gut is the clue
to a next incarnation. Think of it as eloquence,
inert, about to stir. Its tremors remain, vestiges

of the obscure idea you’d meant to tell her.
Is the moment close?
Is this minute as good as ever?

Soon she’ll appear. It’s alright to idle in shade, enjoying
an overcooked morning. Resting a grimace, you dunk it
in a Carlton’s frisson to dim the heat.

The glade is hushed this summer, and you’re up for autumn.
If you have a bon mot put aside for her, yes,
reveal it in style. Heed this tactic, my disciple:

keep an idea till it’s mature, then unleash it
oh so tranquilly. She’ll still be ready. She’ll always like you.
You invented ease; the hours are allies.

Halt that respiration, make it steam. Gently,
once she’s listening, savour the languid timing
of its outlet as an ascetic’s release.

Gregory Dally

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