Us with I-III

Us without

There’s no better time than

When you’re awake to rest

And permit expectations

Of tomorrow to slide,

Watch-hammer like, across

The land until it catches

On the horizon line.

A division lasts longer

Every day as the earth

Conquers more but inherits

Less; rockpools fill with dust

As pillars return to sand

From contexts that pinned them

Skyward. To walk through it

Is a peaceful havoc,

A resurgence of green

In which footpaths occupy

The role of lean highways

Rendered trustworthy by

The shallowness of their

Camber; they’re now regarded

In the right light, or just

Through the wrong sight before.

 

Us withheld

These questions inhabit

The air cloistered over

Paths intended for feet

But tread by them instead,

A gallery of earth conjoined to

A mausoleum for gratitude,

Spoken sotto voce

And blending into the

Clay haze of the foreground.

The moorland is quilted

By bridges suspended

Because of rivets replaced

By rivulets; useless

Opinions wandering

Overused land cross them

Like so many shadows

Straining the girders in

The shade, still forms astride

Still water, but red fruit

Bobbing components of

A green canal lying

Above the riverbank.

 

Us withdrawn

There are steps the river

Flows down that, despite its

Many cycles, remain

Unanticipated,

Unclued within the path’s

Prequel, but a fixture

Of its rotation in

Any case.

Either the

Steps or the river leads

Down towards settlement,

Are persuaded into

Dividing their forces

To skirt streets and dabble

In a more radical

Interface.

Time proves that

By night it’s a different

Empire: low-lying clouds,

That suppress the light by

Day, colonise the night

With an urban orange,

Convert constellations

Into suburbs laced with

Halogen; ungated

But framed as if a memory

Favoured by the earth.

 

It shares no nostalgia

For the dust, nor sunny

Rocks widely bearing

Attributes intrinsic

To their position and

Yet matching the posture

Of the soil.

One is led

To mistake walkways

For solitude by the

Soliloquy of each

Wayward adjective that

Passes, though their epitaphs

Evoke a nativity

Of expression

That begins: us withdrawn,

You and I to live.

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