If the year is meditating a suitable gift,
I should like it to be the attitude
of my great- great- grandmother,
legendary devotee of the arts,
The rows of cells are unroofed,
a flute for the wind's mouth,
who comes with a breath of ice
from the blue caves of the south.
Now my five senses
gather into a meaning
all acts, all presences;
and as a lily gathers
The blacksmith's boy went out with a rifle
and a black dog running behind.
Cobwebs snatched at his feet,
rivers hindered him,
Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white.
The eyeless labourer in the night,
the selfless, shapeless seed I hold,
builds for its resurrection day---
silent and swift and deep from sight
He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea;
climbed through, slid under those long banks of
South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
The song is gone; the dance
is secret with the dancers in the earth,
the ritual useless, and the tribal story
lost in an alien tale.
What is the space between,
enclosing us in one
united person, yet
dividing each alone.