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David Gascoyne

(10 October 1916 - 25 November 2001 / London / England)

The Cage


In the waking night
The forests have stopped growing
The shells are listening
The shadows in the pools turn grey
The pearls dissolve in the shadow
And I return to you

Your face is marked upon the clockface,
My hands are beneath your hair
And if the time you mark sets free the birds
And if they fly away towards the forest
The hour will no longer be ours

Ours is the ornate birdcage
The brimming cup of water
The preface to the book
And all the clocks are ticking
All the dark rooms are moving
All the air's nerves are bare.

Once flown
The feathered hour will not return
And I shall have gone away.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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