HERE

Garden, Hoole © SCES 2006



For more than half our lives, we have lived

in this enigmatic, anachronistic

Victorian villa – built to look like

a Georgian farmhouse – with ashlar blocks

at three corners, the fourth unfinished.

A Valentine’s Day removal, we ate

a takeaway in the kitchen with friends.

The wife is a widow now. Our daughter

has grown, gone and visits: her childhood

still blesses the rooms sun touches through the day’s

compass.

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REPRISE

Window, KwaZulu-Natal © SCES 2006



This is a declaration of love

on August the 6th, our anniversary.

Here is your essence: the pathos of ink

pristine on domesday parchment makes you cry –

“Ah, bless them!” you say – not only the sad,

the halt but the deluded and the unmasked.

Wisely, you leave me few pretensions.

On Hiroshima Day, I celebrate

our forty four years with ephemera:

images of figures in landscapes;

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SEASONAL GREETINGS

Door, Marrakech © SCES 2009



GUBBIO, WINTER 1992


Where the tourist buses turned, the Werhmacht

had murdered partisans – La Piazza

di Martiri Quaranti.  The cold from the hill –

old, old rock – rose from the cathedral’s floor

into our very soles. Outside, February seemed mild,

seasoned with wood smoke. We bought a hand thrown,

hand painted jar with an ill fitting lid.


Since then: earthquakes, marriages…



GUILDFORD,

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VIRTUTIS FORTUNA COMES

Stepping Stones, Kettlewell © SCES 2007


Lasting longer than the Thirty Years War,

than half our biblical shelf life, this marriage

has grown like coral – drops of the slain

Medusa’s blood – become, like Corallium

Nobile, a charm against fits, poison,

sorcery, whirlwind, lightning, fire, shipwreck!


From Norway’s fjords to the Cape Verde isles,

the Niger’s delta to the Orinoco’s,

reefs build, decline: the slow massing of

defunct algae,

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INTIMATIONS

Embrasure, Spinalonga © SCES 2003



This house is sentient, light with rapture,

replete with canny, familiar ghosts.


This house has been indifferent

to vicissitudes of human fortune:

train wreck and famine, siege and tsunami.


The grounds have diminished. From the residue,

you have made an L-shaped paradise:

rhododendron, camellia, nasturtium,

eucalyptus – a global gazetteer.


On some summer nights, the pomaded air

heavy still with heat,

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