The black country night of the present time
goes clinking with silver down the land,
small cries of newborn life and the constellations
in the rocking dark of late-august dog-days
when the near star rages and Isis goes howling
for the body of the summer, lately slain
in rising winds, his golden torso broken.
These early signs of death in the year
and loss, the escaping quality of life,
show more brutally the small divisions,
ownership and loneliness everywhere here.
The year falls stumbling down, old hobo,
landless traveller across the earth,
mendicant time who wears tattered clothes,
whose hair is matted and thick with experience.
And the last country night of the royal stars
sighs in a long black avenue of limes,
pines for the outcast in deepening obscurity
who runs in his exodus westward,
once-green messiah of the bells and horns,
hat full of rainbows and coloured twilights,
crowned king of imperious summer, gone.
In April time when the world opens its doors
I look again at the casual bliss of all things.
Down on the inland waterways I return,
studying the vernal wind in its adventures,
watching ghostly reflections on an old wall.
I am in search of happiness. Nothing more.
Sometimes I see a young couple in the sunlight,
patching the old wooden cruiser which is their home.
A blue sky and a white marina terrify me
because in some way she resembles you.
There is a happy man in the intimate twilight
where an old boat rocks hypnotically, a bed of love.
I walk on hardly able to bear the comparison.
Here is a strange seed which has taken root
in the side of a wall, halfway up the sky,
vertical oasis on an empty brick-face, foolish
climber from the condition of everyday weeds,
strand of something that somehow resembles me.
I will lie down here, contemplate this mooring
not yet in the harbour of the calm sky above,
nor lashed by salvation in a crystal city, yet
still some distance from old ambiguities below.
Who can reckon the nearness of the sun,
only a wind-shaken finger to measure the sky?
Aidan Andrew Dun is British.
He's had two epic poems published in the UK by Goldmark, Vale
Royal in 1995, Universal in 2002. The first of these earned praise
from Derek Walcott, who said 'Vale Royal moves with the ease and the
clarity of a fresh spring over ancient stones, making its myths casual, even
colloquial-- an impressive achievement.' The theme of Vale Royal (which
is composed in terza rima) is the psychogeography of the Kings Cross area of
London. Universal has also been widely reviewed, notably in the TLS,
where John Greening compared it to Ezra Pound's Cantos. He has a third
epic in first draft and a fourth in preparation.
His shorter poems have been published in many British and some European journals. The London Magazine has published shorter pieces but two medium length poems (not epics) have also found their way into that journal. His work is now beginning to appear quite widely on the web.
He was born in London but raised in the West Indies. He now lives in Hampstead, North London, Keats-country. His house is visible from where he sits to write on Parliament Hill.
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