Tony Turner ( - 2013)
The universe is mostly empty space
The atom’s void round which electrons race
Electrons go right through a metal foil
And stars are only gases on the boil
And mass is really energy held tight
While energy is coiled in strings of light.
Now time depends upon your point of view
So in the tenth dimension all is new
The world is just an insubstantial dream
And things are not as solid as they seem.
Why should a Being cleverer by far
Love artefacts as fragile as we are?
So hold me close as north winds fill with snow
For time is short and that is all we know.
From contemplation in the orange garden
to a hushed gloom
where light hangs in bowls
like censers, spills over
an astonishment of arches
in white and red
stretching to infinity
on a history of classic pillars.
We are enveloped in Moorishness,
dwarfed by starry domes
that seem to float on filigree.
Drawn by the distant light
of the holy Mihrab,
we move on, under confusions
of horseshoe and multi-lobed arches
reaching for a vision of holiness.
We round a pillar
glimpse the face of some
Renaissance Pope, like a mirage.
Another arch, and
never having found a door
we’re suddenly in a Christian nave
of soaring gothic tracery.
Brick fuses with stone
east with west
Moor with Christian,
as lover with lover,
sharing this holy ground.
Under his black patka, his soft brown eyes
are thoughtful, rehearsing what must be done.
He twirls the ball in the fingers of his left
repeatedly spins it to his right.
Then, three short paces
breaks into a run
body, rocking back,
swings round his planted foot
rotating as the ball
snaps from his fingers,
drifts away a little.
Chanderpaul, seventy-four runs secure,
judges there’s no danger, makes no move
to play it. Spin bites,
ball breaks back at speed
strikes him on the pad.
Monty’s arm is up, his shout’s insistent, eyes appealing.
Up goes the umpire’s finger and
off goes Monty
like a fire-cracker,
a jumping jack
exploding into air,
landing and springing off again
in new surprise directions.
The team catch fire with him,
ignition spreads from man to man
crosses the long space to the boundary
leaps the fence
and lights the crowd,
spreads like a brush fire
when the moment comes
off its high point,
as it must,
there’s a buzz everywhere
returning to their seats
can feel the warmth
a moment with Monty.
In collection Dreams And Sudden Dangers, 2009
Cherrycroft Press, ISBN 978-0-9532900-9-3
The sun throws shadows of the hill behind
far into the estuary, but lingers on the other shore
picking out amber sand, rows of neat blue boats
pushed high up the beach against the possibility
of storm, and a white house with blue shutters.
At its anchorage, a yacht is being secured for the night.
A bird flies low along the estuary towards the sea.
A dark bird, following the shoreline,
going home. I try to name it, in an idle way,
and suddenly I notice that it’s blue.
I fix it, testing its blueness with each beat
until it disappears. Pondering this
I see another bird and it looks blue
and others, dipping in the shadow of our hill,
are blue and blue and blue as lights come on
tracing a pathway from yacht to house
and on up the far hillside into the luminous azure
of the darkening sky, to the first stars and all
the vast blueness of the universe beyond.
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