Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Martin Harrison

Word

i.m. Dorothy Porter

Warm river-wind offers its rocking-horse rhythm
to the tired barge and its ancient melody
and the melody of film and o so subtle detection
in which briefly suddenly one voice’s glimmer is lost
how old how birdlike she had made it how ancient
the light tracery of clip and scene  Like some
transparent frame in a mystery-tale whose truth’s murder
(cruel innocence of all our inevitable deaths)
a life’s spent searching for the phrase perhaps
best sung – innocence of springtime! springtime! -
by those performers who exquisitely come on stage
always at one remove from more than possible truth
o what a life in words o how much quiet light
in those young rooms back then by the harbour
which could have sheltered us eternally in the value
of sweet speech ignoring the plot’s speed so what’s in a