Friday, March 23, 2007

Stopping Time

Took him three years
visualising Time as a goose
beating down the Atlantic
the wind-ways, the ripped open
cloud-roads from Labrador
an arrowhead
of white and grey storm

pulling up honking in the parks
and stubble fields of the North West
and one here, nearly dead with it,
Time's greylag ticked out most
of its heart into the night
crashing in a flapping mess

at his mind's door, where he brings
it food -- bread and sardines,
anchovies and shrimp mixed
into a paste with a little gin.
Soon he carries it in, lays it out
like a near-dead bride in a cot,
and clips its big wings.

In the morning it lifts its head
over the bars and looks at him
confounded and flightless,
and the moment starts to stretch
and the clouds stop
and the heartbeats stop

and he smiles that long half smile
of a broken clock:

forever sadness
and eternal Spring.