Pre Dawn Psalm

the world rests at the bottom of a glass:
it lies still in a bath of brandy.
the earth is drunk and dreaming:
in its bowl of honey the bronze dawn won’t quite wake.

the horizon has become uncoloured silk:
dawn will draw the fan away from heaven’s face.
arrows shot from the east sail across her pale blue brow:
rosy arrows dribble haze over grey lips that meet the earth.

the ivy covered bluestone walls are rising green:
the rusty rippled iron roofs begins to glow.
across the lane a jasmine boa drops a dark tendril:
it sleeps like a cool snake on top of some garage doors.

I hear a sparrow breaking open a nut of high notes:
or maybe it’s a cricket rubbing his early morning legs.
I hear two pigeons coo roo, coo roo:
then several more pigeons coo rooing in wooing echoes.

a mountain range rings the city north and west:
a wall of white cliffs at least a mile high.
these massive mountains were not there yesterday:
and the risen sun will burn the lot away today.

why must a wall of cloud be like a range:
because my soul needs the icy mountains to be whole.
I long to climb ascetic flanks and reach serenity:
to gaze at the small world in its bronze bowl far below.

the waxy jasmine clusters quiver in the breeze:
the fragrant symmetry and ripe white weight is a poison you want.
why must jasmine fragrance be a poison:
drunk on this you want heaven and on tasting this knowledge you die.

again, from the kitchen window I look at the horizon:
why does a colouring sky seem like a blushing cheek.
because a blushing sky must share a desire with me:
the shame of dreams that want more than earth and heaven give.

the sun strikes the eyes of birds:
in the treetops magpies yodel their canyons of notes.
a thousand pigeons woo in canons:
twittering sparrows rage, blasting their fugues in the splintering light.


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