Beatiest of beats let me address you
as you America. Let me bless you
charleychaplin poet that you are
like Ferlinghetti spreadeagled in air
I am not the great John, bold and zany,
many-talented, a fun man, brainy,
brought up in Liverpool, shot in New York
before he had properly finished his work.
Frost locks the landscape under sun,
silvers the gold of autumn,
deepens hollows in the fields,
sharpens shadows on the mountainsides,
Black stone soft to carve
beads, ornament, brooches.
Stone, fine and intricate,
to wear, to revel in,
Gently the woodsorrel and the dove
evoked wide glades of memory
to share my quest across the sea,
a world-floor I could float above,
He knew the North Country
before it was knowable,
when roads hid their objects
in height, water, wood.
I thank you for your view of a view of autumn, Keats
who never saw your own autumn with its actual pitfalls.
Yours was the autumn of childhood, of hope, or romance, of belief,
my mother's autumn though not that of her hardworking family,
The southern moors
slope down to Scarborough.
She watches Eastern seas.
She's heard of Whitby Abbey, north
I hear the water swishing down,
this equilibrium of rain.
I think of waterfalls and trees
It scars the dullest part of Scotland,
obliterated under warehouses,
short term railways, housing schemes,
the outskirts of uncertain villages.