Alison & Max

For my daughter Alison

When you journey from my heart
Blue morning’s maid,
I shall not see with your horizon
Nor hear the music in your land.
I shall not build the mansion of your mind
Nor cut your footholds in the bitter ice.

When you journey from my heart
On your own true road, forget me,
For my ghost has gone before and blessed
The walls and hearthstone of your house,
And when your heart leaps to delight
And courage, my whisper in your blood,
My wishes flying find their home.



At Length

Always the same: a poetry of beginnings;
for sixty years writing the same poem!
What pleasures, what disgusts!

Now in the sunny window of an evening
blazing with the smoke and rain of a beloved city
this is the chair to which, somehow, I have come

And think of others, old navigators, old men
With their hands on new maps, Hesperides
Rising in the West, peaks breaking above waves
And children crowding to the bow!

(for Max Ashwell 2013)