I ran down Gray's Inn Road and ran
Till I was under a black bridge.
This was me at nineteen
Night's fall unlocks the dirge of the sea
To pour up from the shore and befriending
Gestures of water waving, to find me
That firewood pale with salt and burning green
Outfloats its men who waved with a sound of drowning
Their saltcut hands over mazes of this rough bay.
O gentle queen of the afternoon
Wave the last orient of tears.
No daylight comet ever breaks
On so sweet an archipelago
Lying asleep walking
Last night I met my father
Who seemed pleased to see me.
He wanted to speak. I saw
Each other we meet but live grief rises early
By far the ghost and surest of all the sea
Making doorway to within me. My bowed-down holy
Man of the watchman minute begs that reply,
Flame and the garden we are together
In it using our secret time up.
We are together in this picture.
For Nessie Dunsmuir
I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
A creature in its abstract cage asleep.
What does it matter if the words
I choose, in the order I choose them in,
Go out into a silence I know