5 months ago 104

Suburb or Sabine farm, not all our hard work
alters, though it orders, as best it can
your rhythms that answer in feather, fin and flower
motions of sun and moon. Look where tides
advancing under the causeway flush the bay.
Sun silvers the ferns, domestic grass
pricks up to greet the mower, and my timber house
creaks on its jacks. That once I crossed
the rust-red river, heard steel speak and saw
scavengers wait on the dying; that I command
at peace diagrams of dissolving stars
or proceed white-coated against the militant Crab –
such purpose itself commends. But blood must keep
even as Caesar’s your lyric measure precisely
or lose itself among the abstract spaces
where no bird builds, nor predator patrols
the sandy shallows,
nor sap rises to inform a tree.

C. K. Stead’s most recent collection of poems, This Side of Silence, was published in the UK this year

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