BRUCE ACKERLEY SIX POEMS
Leaving by train for London
A tiny fear crept in.
What if, in our mutual waves
We were waving for the last time?
A death that took you in the night,
How sullen fate stole in
To shatter our glass thin bliss,
The gentle detail of our everyday.
So that come the first frost of morning,
How would I; how could I step back
Into a world dressed in your memory?
All objects speaking your name.
A wall over every road. And myself
Without the courage to climb
The strength to break through.
But to return at days end
And rail against this, my sole companion
The ringing tone of a distant phone
Forever left unanswered.
The morning sky fills with showers
I have lived through your loss
Dislodged from my throat
The burn of each new day
So that now I've become little more
Than the sum of bloody minded vows
The thin relief when I hear
So many glasses sing with the same grief.
There's no pretence to martyrdom
Just the long, low wait
For the day to darken.
I've been sitting up for you
To know how in the oil lamp glow
You have flown across the rubicon.
No need to show me the formula
For soon I too will bury one world,
Ready another. It's easy enough -
This unfolding of wings
First one. Now the other.
Lord of the First Time -
He shall not pass empty handed.
Look! His arms
Are a cradle of bones. Gathers
Days from the Duat as he goes.
There is only one weighing of words,
One journey worth its salt.
And at the toes - the scarab's scratch,
The ache of wings
To bend through stone.
A rod in the milky ocean.
It is yours to turn -
His only son's burden of proof.
The eastern-eyed falcon
Who flogs the dawn,
From Dendera's roof.