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Quantum of Light

July 2021, no. 433

Quantum of Light

July 2021, no. 433

Dusk when the people in the trees
stand out against the dark –

but it isn’t dark, only a deep gradation
of the light –

the people in the trees,
crone-like olives,

have been gathering all day,
ravelling, unravelling their hair,

their knotted fingers,
tableaux of maenads, harvesting.

Even on the other side,
the over-underside of the globe,

even here it is not dark but only
a deep gradation of the light.

The eucalypts are people,
dusky-skinned, composed –

they are not people, you know,
though we resemble them,

less stable in our steps,
less able to withstand the wind,

whatever wind we think it is
that tears us from each other.

Our hands are knotted too, our skin
spotted and scarred,

the birds in our brains can learn to sing
and spend their whole lives practising

the change, the measure of light
and deeper light, the spill of stars,

planetary whispers –
what is it? I can barely hear 

From the New Issue

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