For Mark

Dust gathers undisturbed upon your books
unmoving in their soldiery on the shelf,
the four-leaf clovers you one summer picked
stare pale and dry against the yellow page.

The school-files, bursting with the midnight hours
you sat awash with music and your thoughts,
stand sentinel among the discs and tapes
whose dusty songs a sombre silence keep.

Sometimes at night I chance to see you there,
chair tilted back, your finger in the air,
papers and books astrew the desk and floor
and music drumming through the midnight hour,

and moments that we shared come trilling back
across the trembling pastures of the past
where you and I have lit so many flares
among the sparkling learning of your years.

On dreary days I lie upon your bed
among the posters flying on the walls,
the wizard and the Hobbit and his friends,
the bulb that bursts forever in the sky,

the rock-scene and a thousand upstretched arms
in paper silence screaming on the wall,
a lone Grolsh bottle on the window sill,
and white the unicorn, riding the sky.

A hundred miles away you sit and stare
into the space whence inspirations seep,
whilst I with fond remembering and care
in this same moment quiet vigil keep.


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