Much to my surprise, I discovered a lost
Land upon my doorstep. The face of the
Forest loomed over the Waters of the Deep,
And The Lady of the Chaffinch bore her red
Breast, still brooding with pelican blood.
“When I die,” said she, “bury some flowers
In my chest, so that once I am gone from this
World, I can still paint the roses crimson.”
From this vermillion isolation went I.
“Come into my hole!” said The Mole.
“It’s pure William Morris, don’t you
But, I did not know, for I had already
This is why I now sit in this garden, and
Read my fortune in the fallen leaves,
Scrying the undergrowth, as I descry:
“The sky is not a black skeleton, but a
White rose – a nest of lilies – a silken dress –
A watch – a sensuous caress that never quite
I said this, and the crumpled leaves were
Black skeletons, dancing the slow pavane
Of finite decay; such fragile, fading fingers,
Every touch a shiver; every lingering kiss
The seduction of substance, sinking back
I tried to put the mute button on my heart.
I had my season. But the tears rose up with
The dawn – and Aurora tapped my chest with
Her opal fingers, saying:
“Come on, now – your time is come”
And I felt sad for no reason.
And I felt lonely for no reason.
And everything was so wonderful,
So perfectly unreasonable, that I
Couldn’t help but be moved by its
“This is it,” said I. “This is the opening of
The well; the chastity of enlightenment;
The milky sickness of nights and mornings
Merging into one. This is the whiteness of
The Magpie’s Chest, and the fortitude of
The Sun. This is the Love of Unreason –
The creeping in of Winter’s Thorns.”
And, as I swept up leaves I would rather have
Left scattered, I turned my thoughts into lilies,
And planted them,
One by one.