WEBSITE OF CLARKE EMERVANE

A TRIPTYCH

from The Walk


I

The clattering hooven upon the hearth
while the bath is pitched and refilled.
In the corner comes a ragged lady
darting between jade dragons and
asking the servants if Clyde is come.
If the moonlight outside is any indication,
shattered by branches on the estate,
he lies somewhere between
the arms of a peasant woman.

There was a sky somewhere in memory
like the peach of a Japanese sunrise
where she felt her wings alight
on something soft and hoped that he
would carry her home.
These were the early evenings,
and the mornings so late they were forgotten
as an overripe fig, by sloth congealed
into a sweet mess.

The midnight germ of winter
breeds welcome, and prolific 'til
the garden overgreened
with the kudzu flower.
He came with double meanings,
and she with a poker
to resurrect the flame into a dragon
that danced on the malachite walls and statues
and warmed Marat's bathtub.

II

The death came slow and quickly
filling empty cupboards with swollen remarks
and binding up the fury's hand around
the chalice of a long-forgotten anger.
As winter grew
to coffee-stands and wrinkled expressions,
the dahlias found God, and time
grew around her London yard
in the beer-streets where highwaymen ride
without an escort home, and rattled
prayer beads in vain repetition.
Her soul was the riddle
too awful to ask,
and the sky, twice-forgotten,
wrote nothing but sound,
and she kept her eyes on the ground.

III

The fountain of an early bud where
pink discloses the tender life
inside the thorns. In the corner
comes a ragged lady
darting between jade dragons and
asking if Clyde is come.
If the moonlight outside is any indication,
fragmented into lovely vistas
by the refracting frost,
there is no-one.
And she, beheld by flame,
a lovely sorrow knows of her sole Comforter,
while Alfred walks in and remarks
on the unseemly apparition.
But Gemini, rendered threadlike by disconsolate eyes,
and half-blurred into a lock of trees,
permits not the sky-gazer to think alone,
and charts the bright eternity.

In London, the gray cabs and the scorpion-fights
drown out the last man's affiance.
Hobos sleep under a natal star.






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