Empty space

As the eye wanders – what of it?
What of the curl of lip, cheek and eye,
spurring invention of plot, snapping at vision’s edge,
out of some irrepressible need?
That need unspoken, with space enough
in the inbetweenness of not knowing
anything outside this moment
where the pollen-scent of tears
and the heart’s unspoken dialect
become instead a silent film. Impeccably
smooth, this substitute for life, story.
Cutting the day on the bias allows
for stretching, stitching in enough
that the mind, brewing in all directions,
can tell itself that it has reached
the circle’s edge and understands,
when it has only drawn close.

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To the watermark

You, having skimmed your way out here,
now reaching down between swell and foam
the way the light sends shadows,
hands see the suggestion of colour.
Grasping at meaning, the current
refuses to relent, intent on its own
desires, a sky elsewhere.
Struggling to detect all the voices
never spoken, I turn the river off,
letting the silence breathe.

Old dances, new dancers

Pirouetting towards greatness really
is a kind of dance if that’s how you see
shifting one leg over the other
splashing a scarf-tail over the shoulder
performing with well-rehearsed contempt.

In fact it’s the dance where performers
flaunt their pasted scowls as smiles
grown in the coldest months like
vine-reared tomatoes born
for the acidic majesty of their bite.

Eventually tributes will pour in from
the footlights, column inches admiring
the devotion of others glaring upwards
a soiree tossed and sipped success
a life reworked for gaping crowds.

Peak over the curtain because if this
is just a dance, a game, a ploy
for the conquering its players seem
unaware. Laughing, the curtain drops
as they disappear beneath applause.