Before the light could scorn


Tonight a breeze is speaking in the leaves
like wind that haunts the hollow of bone,
as I wander this thin fringe of shrubbery
deep in the bowl of the dark.

A skein of stars
is blown from the spool of the moon; a twisted
silhouette of trees brims the riverbank
where the old boughs stoop to rekindle themselves.
What lies under the whisper of lilies?
How many have lost their beauty and youth
in the flowing glassy face of water?

Guidance of owl in the quiet time, where the caterpillar
bites through the leaf in secret,
where the worms eavesdrop for my footfall
and the mole burrows blindly underground.
I am faithful to the flower’s whorl of petals,
to the rinsing lisp of flowing water,
faithful to the cold blossom of the stars,
and to whatever invited me here
I am faithful.

Star and river, tree and flower –
there is a riddle here I cannot solve;
here, where the luminous newt offers
no response; here, where I search for an answer
lost in the world of a glistening leaf.
And just when my ruminations reach their pitch,
just as the jigsaw begins to make sense,
then creeps in, like an uninvited guest,
the cold, inexplicable colours of day.