I couldn’t tell one song from another,
which bird said what or to whom or for what reason.
The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words.
I couldn’t decide which door to open - they looked the same, or what
would happen when I did reach and turn a knob. I thought I was
safe, standing there
but my death remembered its date:
only so many summer nights still stood before me, full moon, waning
moon, October mornings: what to make of them? which door?
I couldn’t tell which stars were which or how far away any of them
was, or which were still burning or not - their light moving through
space like a long
late train - and I’ve lived on the earth so long - 50 winters, 50 springs
and all this time stars in the sky - in daylight
when I couldn’t see them, and at night when, most nights I didn’t look.
from ‘Being Human’, the companion anthology to
‘Staying Alive’ and ‘Being Alive’, edited by Neil Astley