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All Posts By David Selzer

PERSPECTIVES

From the long window on the half landing, I saw,

almost as soon  as you had filled the small bird feeders

under the pine and come inside, the big beasts land

to eat the scattered seeds – three wood pigeons, two turtle doves

and a solitary magpie –  then a cat appear, the birds scramble

and you again, shooing.

From where the hawk stoops, I heard the magpie’s

irrelevant chatterings, saw a tableau of live flesh;

saw our Victorian suburb from where the airplane flies –

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ARE WE NEARLY THERE?

The tide is at its ebb. Late sun quick-silvers

the narrowed estuary,  where river and sea

conflict and oyster catchers race upstream.

An ice cream van’s jingle jangle sounds

across the almost empty sands. ‘O sole

mio’… And you are suddenly there –

aged three – digging with purpose into the dusk.


Your daughter – that longed for, longed for joy –

already strives unprompted towards the sun,

scrabbling beyond the bounds of her play mat!

‘…n’aria serena doppo na tempesta!…’

How calm you are,

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THE DROWNED FIELD

The Duke owned both banks. The pleasure steamer,

stuttering, washed his clay into the current,

older than property. His oak woods moved

past us into dusk. We disembarked and

strolled between lascivious, attic blooms

to where, before the Great Hall, his Grace

had let the play be set. Like smoke on summers’

nights, the plot unwound down the lawn’s gentle slope.

The crossed, cross lovers mazed each other

but we knew how it all would end neatly –

the affluent young,

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ZELEZNIK’S THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

Though there is no evidence that Busby

Berkeley was a descendant of Bishop

Berkeley (in spite of the Californian

connection),  who would deny that George

were the spiritual, or, rather,

philosophical ancestor of Bill.

Bishop George Berkeley, John Smibert, circa 1729

Busby Berkeley circa 1935

Hundreds of girls’ legs opening in unison

is a pure if anachronistic

example of the Irish Divine’s hypothesis.

And Busby was keen on fountains too!

Fountain Scene from 'Footlight Parade',

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A BOOK OF HOURS

 

'Fevrier' from Les Tres Riche Heures du Duc De Berry

'Février' from Les Tres Riche Heures du Duc De Berry

 

July

We are rather formally attired

for country pursuits in the ducal woods;

August

me with a tie and you, I uncover,

with white suspenders and matching knickers.

September

Intimate stranger, forever touching

for your least kindness, forever surprising;

October

unpredictable as light,

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DULCE DOMUM

Built well before the Mahdi sacked Khartoum,

like a ledger or the Church of England

our house is square, accommodating. Swifts,

each May, pronounce their southern benison

on ashlar cornerstones and dead masons…

A butterfly, lost in the wintry cellar,

seems closed as death but wings part knowingly.

O peacock eyes, how you seduce from purpose

and time! Imperial birds cry harshly

in paper gardens… At dusk, in indigo,

swifts dissolve. The house is white, seems solid

as a steamship.

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