PARADIS

I didn’t think to

escape the pattern of my life,

to step sideways from this game.

It took someone to say I could,

though I knew that instant

that I should – so

I headed out

to amble

about,

to find

myself

here in

this lane.

~

Now I’ve

imagined a

land so vast

that lies beneath

an endless sky, a town

within from someone’s mind

with roads that trace converging

lines to fields repeating rows of vines to meet

in timeless harmony, in symmetry as they designed.

~

But here,

another magic lies, in every

solitary house, in the separate

spirit of every tree, and the

gently waltzing

dappled light.

In a flash,

all sound goes.

I stop. I have seen

the house – its plain, clear

letters, quietly proud, spell PARADIS.

~

I stand,

a menhir

lost in time.

Behind stone

eyes, my mind

is veiled in fog of

childhood memory,

stories of sounds of

screaming carried far

across the parish, details

seen outside. How they knew,

with lowered eyes – but could not see.

~

Criminals can

scrabble to bury their tracks,

leaving little in the dust, as their world

closes in, then moves on. I know justice is

just an idea – but what a difference if kept? So

all know time can provide no final obscurity.

I have heard of hunters who did not forget,

and I begin to understand; where

shame is deficient, how humane

law should ensure such

perpetrators live

in fear.

~

As a seed scraped from a wall by a quiet wind,

I find myself walking away, through thickening

shadows under pines, up to a hill where

a warbler’s

call carries

over fields

and flowers,

clear in the

last of the

evening light,

where I pause

in respect for

Marie Ozanne. And on and away I go, as a

bat circles round and loops back, the blue

sky brushed across with trailing cirrus lines.

~

Deep in the night I see the white horse, the

faint flash of a light at sea,

the yellow lamp,

the sentinel

cat’s ears,

the broken

glass and orange

sun, the utter black of a

quarry’s water cut by a bird, by its landing

wake. A gull calls, waters wash the shores. The

sheer granite drops deep, time’s gravity

grows immense, the dream is

drawn down, and

disappears.

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