The House


Walls plumbed by the earth’s pull stand true
levelled by the spirit’s bauble eye,
unseen foundations cling deep and sound
to the patient earth’s rock bed,
the blackbird on the rose bush jerks his eye
appraising the danger on green hunting plains
caring nothing for the builder’s skill
trowelled into this house.

Pigeons moan with mute monotony
hoist high on the roof’s geometry
unaware the rain tight intricacy
tiled into their sloping cliff,
and martins every year their skills display
suspending their houses underneath the eaves
knowing the brick’s grip, but not the hand
that bricked their gripping precipice,

no more than spiders in the attic’s gloom
scaffolding their webs between the beams
glimpsed the saw’s sharp set, the carpenter’s
straight eye, who also laboured here.
The moth imprisoned by the globe’s bright field
can’t comprehend the electric filigree
webbed inside these walls, but only waits
a helping hand back to the night.

When up the path the nightly hedgehogs haul
to snuffle through the shrubbery’s debris,
the tigery cat holds back to let them pass
this obstacle on ancient territory,
and the owl in his whooping night loops rooftop low
while the wary vole darts like a blown leaf by
and the circling fox learns when the moon is high
a different landscape’s way to live and die.


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