in bent down glory in a breathing world
where lines and curves are scattering
there stands a tree with birds and nakedness
a useful eye, a little fire at a distance
like something learned in a dry school
when the spine talks back to the chair
the last of the breeze goes sailing away
a church in one hand, sly creation in the other
ladies try to hold big sleepy husbands
exhausted leaves are scattered in the grass
the undersides of clouds could be a stiff and random answer
or just diligence or just another porkchop sky

they say one corner of the bird will turn to words
a conversation disappears across a blurry sky
these are places where the curving moon
is visible all day, where cities drone and snarl
and strange pale gentlemen are floating in big jars
yet another fierce arrangement of the wise

stillness and patience, clouds and sirens
small machines go roaring in the dark
a fornication or a riddle told in Greek
of wise and foolish animals and laws
the frightened girl is changed to a seahorse
a piece is torn from the unwilling moon
just big enough to make a child
who sits alone in a naked place
where giants green and blustering
think their slow thoughts and sigh in their beds of dirt

Robert Gregory | Mudlark No. 17
Contents | What the Sleeper Understands