Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Garden

Pictures of the garden when we moved in
sit with previous memories in the tin box,
bundles of photographs elasticated together;
of Dad holding me by the Christmas tree,
my baby blue eyes pierced with red-eye,
and Mum with brown hair sitting in the armchair,
one of my brothers cradled in her arms.

A thin film of sunlight glows from them,
those photographs, and from the ones of the garden;
a patch of descending earth ending at a fence,
bedspread rumpled brown and grey;
this bed unmade by now-gone JCB’s.
Lumps of potential mill like sleeping hills
dreaming of the pull of the shovel’s curtains.

Time passed and peeled the foundations sheets,
or to be more accurate, time’s hands were Dad’s;
on my digital camera, the sunlight auto-dimmed,
the RGB pixels reveal the colours of flowers
found blooming for the bees in season,
arranged in beds with brick bases and sides,
on mattresses of clay moulded by man.

Dad’s conjuration has torn the sheet of soil
from the table of the industrial mess.
Hadron sparks flew and found fish in the pond,
fish evolved to its size, spectators of red
and purple loom, lounging lizzies circling,
first a figment, then a seed, then a breathing thing,
the proof of will performing its magic.

Years of blindness can pass by, darkness of soul,
of cloudy insight, and then like your first pair of glasses,
you can forget how clear the world can be;
a birdhouse of bamboo is attached at the far end
to the wooden-slat fence Dad erected,
and its lines draw thoughts of the Orient;
slanted roof, deep shadows and design.

From his mind to the page to the fence,
and onwards drawing eyes as well as birds,
instant and sudden, my pupils dilate;
here are the hands Mum holds and loves,
the designs of etchings like paintings
on the inner wall of his palm,
all marble, soft stone and devotion.

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