From a sky sand-brushed and blurring, rain.
Plants on the sill heave signs of loneliness.
The lamp glows, a pendulous jewel hung
on the bosom of an ageing countess.
I sketch an essay on Rilke as if on the tissues
of consciousness itself, the halos of the almost
seen rewarding a wondrous, hard-won clarity.


High rocks spiked with pines and the slim
white lines of birches. Under the cliffs,
from nowhere a feather drifts into your hand
(the gull gaping in disbelief from the margins),
a rare offering I fail to comprehend
until a stretch of sea is seen through the wisps
of the bird's lost quill, breathlessly severed.