The morning after the weekend, dogs sleepy and joyful, a new bird calling in the garden: a liquid urgent call I try to memorize. Searches for mislaid socks, the phone rings incessantly, talk of power cuts, no hot water for a day or two. Laughter, and running out into the garden to fetch in some washing before the rain starts again. Bundles of tea towels and aprons that smell of the wind and wild grasses. Ordinariness in the light of sobriety.
Changeable weather, clouds frayed grey and silver and darkening like a bruise in cumulus, the temperatures dropping. What is that bird calling in the olive trees? And nothing to say really, empty-headed and yawning at my keyboard, a poem spilling out from memory:
1938 – 2003
From: Apology for Absence: Selected Poems 1962-1992
I’d like to live a slower life.
The weather gets in my words
and I want them dry. Line after line
writes itself on my face, not a grace
of age but wrinkled humour. I laugh
more than I should or more
than anyone should. This is good.
But guess again. Everyone leans, each
on each other. This is a life
without an image. But only
because nothing does much more
than just resemble. Do the shamans
do what they say they do, dancing?
This is epistemology.
This is guesswork, this is love,
this is giving up gorgeousness to please you,
you beautiful dead to be. God bless
the weather and the words. Any words. Any weather.
And where or whom. I’d never taken count before.
I wish I had. And then
I did. And here
the weather wrote again.