Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Martin Harrison

A Park

in the thicket of it all

ey stretching from west to east  and along the edges these mixes of greens
from sempiternal
the creamy lighter green of something with waxen leaves
nameless as peripheral
when, at the end of long balustrades, they fall
in sprays of ivy and blood-red creeper -
a thick-grown wind-shivered waterfall -
splayed along almost paint-free concrete
near the stairway with its buttress and weathered corbal:
shrivelled red
like hands which are stars in flight down a scrolling
of vines and fruits - sky and rainy horizons
have brought into the world this vertical levelling
of leaf-edge, space and stem -
shrivelled crimson like old bruised skin like dust
leaves along the windy terrace blowing
autumn over broken pavers
patches of afternoon sun are like lakes
whose imperceptible edges manoeuvre
time and the ground's weight
opening up exactly what's required
enough space for a year
or a hundred years
- miniature arena of bareness -
- sun-shadows are dancers' footmarks -
over there    just over there    till
like a (flicker) black (light-burst) wing
the sudden cloud-threat of children's voices
arguing, playing, echoing, shouting
under the overhangs and green hollows and shadow arches
/a gravelled carriage-way leading into everybody's far-flung/
how will I have grown in a few years?  and such anxiety -
will it ever wither and fall, fall as leaf and mist?  It hangs
there in an old upstairs cupboard, dreamt.  A half-thought.  A thing
like an undisturbed, black bat.  The play of greennesses
more swollen in those trees than a sore ankle - ah well you've been running
over the fresh-cut grass, dark stripes left from new mowing,
its fragrance in the soon to be dewed air
its richness, its movement like an old house's drive sweeps round


                                     - leaves and thoughts in the thick of it