The distant barking of the dogs of war
and the panicked laughter of children
all caught up in the autumn wind, with the leaves running
and the trees holding on,
and always the music hidden in the order of it all,
the condition of all things good, aspired to, met
in this now-ness of bone, fibre, pen,
a soft voice
saying at last,

The washing on the line flies a flight-path prearranged
swinging, unrhythmic,
tight-stretched against skies,
signalling save me! to the winds.

Sad dog on the lawn
waits for someone
yearns to speak
uses eye-language.
Moves an ear.
Hopes this is noticed, seen.

Clouds advance to night.
Evening would come soon.

While she waited,
she counted all the birds in the wires above,
and asked them if they were flying north?
Not today, they said.
Not today.

Birds fold their wings and shelter.
The wind’s gone quiet.
Far south, the stars in their patterned veil
sing the southern lights to sleep.

Somewhere, a child cries.

One by one the houses
and the streets light up,
a back window, a front porch.
Two dogs play chasings around a small rockery.
A boy bends over his guitar,
Why sad? He will not say.

No nightbirds sing,
no hadedas on their way to the lake.
Our urban skies at night
are vast and empty and quiet.


Tonight’s train goes by,
sounds like a wounded beast.
In the heart of the night,
everything holds its breath.

At last,
so soft
it makes no sound.

Then slowly,
leaves bend,
a gutter

One tell-tale blur of wind.

July 2006

I fly to you

oh so slowly
oh so slowly

and I search each cloud for your face.

I think I see you,
with your hair combed, neat, dressed in white,
looking slightly awake
slightly different in sleep
dressed in white as delicate as cloud
and your hands
as I knew they would be
your long, slim fingers.

Quiet all the strings.

And I dressed all the clouds in your white.
And I dressed all the clouds with your face.
And I carried you with me as I flew to you.

But you were already there, in that faraway place
where the waves and the sea and the planes
and the clouds carry people to
when they go so far away.

More clouds,
more waves,
How is this so?
What can I make of this journey?
Will you know I saw you out at sea
on the waves of the world
as you dream
in the cloud of unbeing?

How will you make that journey
home? How foreign are we now,
all apart,
me in the sky,
you in the heavens,
your brother on one continent
your father another
and your lover
journeying home
to grieve you.

We are fractions of ourselves
factored out into cloud

not seeing
not feeling
being cloud-light.