Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Stephen Edgar

The Murals

Among the stage mist of the early damp,
Still lagged about the trees
Like remnants of an atmospheric drama
You’ve stumbled on, you tramp
Through shadowed bush towards Knocklofty’s crest,
To find the sunstruck hills’ and estuary’s
Hardly substantial cyclorama
Hung there to arrest

Your gaze. Across the river’s bent expanse
The far-off breezes chase
Their intricate gravures and anaglyphs
To shiftingly entrance
Those rays that stray down there. The moulded shore
Is housed in golden glass. In its clear place
The weightless sun now merely skiffs
Above the clouds it wore.

There is no standing for this ravishment.
There’s even something hellish,
You whisper in yourself, the way your eyes
Compulsively assent
To what you hardly have the heart to see,
Greedy for any scenery to embellish
The vacant stage, and mesmerize
Their easy faculty.

All that is solid melts into the air.
The body you once held
And let your gaze slide over like a hand
Is gone and will not bear
Again the weight of looking or embrace.
No use to blame your eyes. They are compelled.
The gorgeous images demand
Acknowledgement of grace.

Linger a few more moments on the hill
While all around you climb
And fall the pictured walls of open day.
You look and look, but will
Go down the way you came here, nonetheless,
Incurably enraptured by each time
And place the windblown murals sway,
Gracing the emptiness.