"Relieve my languish, and restore the light"

THE DOOR
(to Lindsey in Memoriam)

Because you do not come,
Because you cannot come again
Into this room of our waiting,
Living through the long day of our hoping,
We shall never see
You come again
Into this room
Though our eyes are open.
I know you wanted to come,
Wanted to return.
Four days and nights I watched you
Struggling with the door, struggling,
And I could not help you,
And only the door between us.
I should have broken down the door
Though it was locked fast against me.
Should have broken down the door,
But my hands are only clay
And I knew no way
Knew no way,
Except my own heart beating
And your heart
Beating faintly through the door
And hoping, hoping ...
When it stopped,
When your heart stopped its beating,
The door that held so fast
Against the uselessness of hoping,
The door that none could open,
Opened to my hand,
And I looked through and saw
The empty darkness there and you
Gone through.
Now the door swings shut and open,
Banging in the wind of sleeping,
Letting in the darkness
To this well lit room,
Its lock forever broken.


AS FAR AS I HAVE COME TO STAY

After so many years of journeyings
Through barren lands, arrivals and departures,
Expectations and promises hope devised
To lure my reluctant sceptic on,
I stand now surveying what can only be
The destination hope was charged to guide me to.

Of course, it could be that Iím just tired,
Tired of trying, and would settle for any place,
Being here at the end of my tether,
Knowing I can go no further to find
Nothing in the ultimate impasse of despair.
But I do not know and shall never know now
In question and answer sense, answers to these
Questions of impossibility.

And yet this is as far as I go,
For I see no more signs to lead me,
And hope is quiet, as though at last content
To leave me be, no longer whispering
Tomorrow, perhaps further on, or teasing me
With dreams or visions my fool cannot resist.
This is as far as I have come to stay,
And because I will not, cannot go,
Here is beautiful and permanent while I stay
And live.


SONNET IN OLD AGE

Remembering, like film in black and white,
Has muted voices and grainy faces,
Disconnected scenes and unnamed places;
And up the wooden hill by candlelight
To dancing shadows and forgotten fears,
That boy, that man of long ago, is now
A stranger who unwittingly appears,
Lumbering in like an awkward sacred cow
On some known street, its name you canít recall,
Jogging old faiths you long since out of hand
Rejected after your own special fall.
Accusing witnesses then take the stand;
Old foes, old friends, and those who broke your heart,
In court where only you the judgements hurt.