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David Selzer – Page 96 – David Selzer – page 96
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All Posts By David Selzer

ON THE NATURE OF THINGS

From the terrace at Polesden Lacey, it was

the guttural calls caught our attention –

then sheep flowing fast over rising ground

like a pale yellow banner in the wind,

then the shepherd himself, then his dogs

flattening themselves at his command.

By the time we reached the valley bottom,

the beasts were penned – lambs from ewes,

the latter funnelled for the shearers.

The bleating drowned the whirring of the clippers.

From the high bridge over the Tweed at Kelso,

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

You were here last year in your mother’s womb

at this cottage high above the straits.

Now you grab for buttercups, daisies, clover,

self-heal – and edge toward sleep in the stillness

under the parasol. Ringlet butterflies

flit across the grass. Blackbirds forage

among the mulch of last autumn’s leaves

at the margin where garden and woodlands merge.

A pheasant rattles somewhere out of sight.

Watching over you is a privilege.

Some time since last year,

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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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