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Fragments towards a lament

 for Jessica

(non troppo affectuoso) 

A shroud of dew
A feather chaplet
A cleansing pall of ants
A stone and two true sticks
Absolution in an empty pocket
Garments hang empty and the sky glows
It is not possible to know this
Wings move in unison
Blood thickens in the empty night
When did the birds go?
Fanned by wings of waking fright
courage dismounts the staircase
Here is a wreath of  fresh moult
warmer than a pocket
moist with tender inclination
A feather crown
a lizard awaiting plentitude
a piece of rope
eyes not green
not blue not blind
a rope to bind
silver and cotton
When breath
is slow and life beats
a deep and muffled drum
hearts are cupped
with care for the moment
of syncopation
within the prism time inverts
snake turns into night
all that remains
a silver rope
a feather lizard
time to bind . . . 

A Note on the Poem:

The poet and artist Margaret West was one of three poets chosen to be part of our Counterpoint collaboration with Musica Viva. Sadly, as the project bore on, Margaret's health began to deteriorate, and she passed away just as the project came to its conclusion. The poems that she left for the Counterpoint project were marked as drafts, but were clearly highly refined works. Had she had the chance, perhaps Margaret would have published a different version to this poem. We believe though that the quality of these poems is clear, and were determined that they be published.

Go to Margaret West's profile to read more poems