the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     10/6/2020







      VERSE                                 miscellany



   First Fall

   Devil May Care








































































    First Fall

    Shorelines are hard up here.
    No soft foot-stepping, love-letter beaches,
    but broken stone washed by cold water.
    The top of the world is no place
    for easy comfort.

    The water though is glass clear,
    ice clear, right through to the cracked rock bed.
    Here inquisitive fish nudge cold jelly tits,
    and barracking duck mock my well preened
    lower latitude ways.

    I cross a concrete field
    to the hunting ground.

    The snow dredge, nearly horizontal,
    is incessant yet children skip and run
    their trailing hoods disdained;
    they play between stud tyre trucks,
    and ticking blocks of antifreeze.

    First fall of winter may last a day
    or ten, but the harsh supermarket lights
    will shine regardless until the days
    forget winter and dark takes rest.
    Shelf-stacked, by the quay,
    ships stand ready to deliver
    soft goods, warm clothes,
    well-deserved chocolate and indoor games,
    sent north to mitigate the coming night.






    Devil May Care


    Below beneath within,
    secrets lie hidden
    surface hides the truth;
    the wholesome skin
    clothes doubt with honesty.

    The unwary, unquestioning, blind
    pause not or wonder at
    a chance of corruption, core of cancer,
    a kernel of spite to destroy
    any dream of perfection

    or is that dream itself a lie?
    That virginity, chastity, purity
    should survive? Can the flesh
    remain sound despite autumnal
    presumptions of decay?

    With both hands I grasp
    and bite.

    The apple is sweet
    either way.




    NIDARO CATHEDRAL – Trondheim

    It is not true:
    the stone walls fail
    the perpendicular requirements
    of the cruxiform.

    Deep in the gloom
    cast by lives of Apostles
    pilgrims maintain a lack
    of critical response.

    They see more light than me:
    this is a holy place.

    As it must be:
    all works of man in
    praise of God
    demand, of themselves,

    And yet the early,
    and middle and late
    do not match:
     the altar is akilter,
     the apse a twist away
     from intention.

    Did that foundation move,
    to mock skill and belief,
    before new walls could be built?