And he is like the sea. He washes near,
surrounding lowlands. Waters held at bay,
the equilibrium is sustained by mere
pressure of blood. Biology, one day,
relents, the dyke relinquishes, then seeps
and yields. No vacuum is allowed.
Osmosis of mortality will keep
displacement’s laws. You see amid the crowd
those waterlogged and intimate with him,
whose logic – irremediable –will drown
them soon. Meanwhile, discreetly laps the rim
of life’s assertions and evades renown.
For doctors’ waiting rooms and football grounds,
shopping malls, buses, streets, are, secretly, where
he hides in plain sight. Colourless. No sounds
are made. The waters, though, are, secretly, there.
I come into the room
I am the first person
I reek of being
You come into the room
with the peculiar taste of yourself
A third enters
He smells of existence too
My tongue, my lips, speak kisses, words, and taste
you, love. I tell my truth with carnal speech,
and you make utterance – naked vowels -out-faced
to me in tender causerie. The reach
of love defined by tips of breasts, bent knees
and fingertips. Extremity’s delight
contained, fulfilled in limbs. In matrices
like these does love find means and so recites
its joy. But we use measured talk and line,
whose borders loose the captured sense. We catch
the meaning, let it walk, no more confined.
Ties body thoughts that we leave unattached.
My love for you’s interpreted in flesh,
just as ideas in verse’s form are meshed.
ONE OF MY PUPILS
In Memoriam _________ __________
(Died in Syria aged 20 2014)
Our city empty of you, absence your
sole parting gift. Familial fabric rent
and only threads left. In year eight I saw
a mischievous smile, downcast eyes, assent
to being loved. My son your peer. And now
a beauteous boy, Sunday Times pages show
your face. For distance was your choice, was how
you solved your need for definition. So,
explained a restlessness with our embrace.
At home, but embarrassed to deny
your history, you apologized and raced
to folly, though you didn’t say goodbye.
A naïf on the chessboard, no going back,
you accidentally found yourself in black.
COMPROMISED BY LIGHT
but no verb,
Colourless and continuous
with the black walls of the womb.
World without end.
the shutter of a lens.
this sneakthief is
compromised by light,
defibrillated by birth
A stain of knowing,
embarrassed into being.
Of colour, depth and shape.
Refusing to leave alone
the search for perspective.
of where he ends,
where he begins,
struggling with sovereignty.
Exploring a gesture.
of his clamour.
Guy Walker is a British poet living in the south of England. His day job is that of a French teacher.