STIRRINGS

I sit and watch the slanting ray of light
Strike gently down upon your work bent head
And think upon the past and how it might have
Have been two other people here instead.

And yet there is a sense in which we feel
That nothing else, but how things are, can be;
A future that is certain makes a deal
To let the past encompass you and me.

The present pride and pain in all that’s left
To overcome a bleak and barren world,
As images build up, then leave bereft
Those hopes, and that surrender flag unfurled.

Twinned egos strive to try and understand
The strangeness of a part that lacks a whole,
And whilst the tender touch of hand and hand
Beguiles the heart, where does it leave the soul?

The dark, where strangers meet for carnal rites,
And terror binds us all in bounds of fear,
Keeps back a thread that through the gloom ignites
A vision of our yearnings, year by year.

How can a gentler thread repose within
A world that’s ruled by tooth and claw alone?
Or does the thought of it begin
To penetrate a world beyond our own?

Before these thoughts can other thoughts reveal,
You turn your head and see me watching you
And smile, because you somehow seem to feel
That between us there is always something true.

June 1991