Friday, March 24, 2017

Robert Sheppard: Tentatives (poem for Roy Fisher, offered again IM))


                                    for Roy Fisher at 80

Between buildings brushed
By bitter wind

Bodies chatter
Chilled equivocation

Sliced by splintered screen
Of sinking reflections

As some else
Thing resonates

A minor chord
Among flurries tinkling

Lost in
Tingles of thing

Hoist from the purest
Lyric a catch

To pull up the stepped lines
Silvered in living daylights

A neck ridged with bone barely
Turning on a pillow breathing fast

Obstinate anchorage



Wind cuts sunlight
Leaf-glitter tells you it’s there

Pushes so hard it could bend
Light if you chose to believe

which you do it makes it
cowl like a bush in a gust curling

Into its own grey withdrawal
Terrified of its black heart

Sun’s low disk

Throws long shadows lawns of
Dark stretching back from flaming

Brickwork the faces of buildings
Distant towers

Glint buckled fire for a
Second then gutter

Lost reclaimed
By the order of place some

Where at the periphery stretches
A god created by gospels

That thread between things
Like gossamer like culture       

Note: I am at the moment writing a new poem for Roy, not quite in memoriam, because I wrote it on the train to work in a state where I didn't know whether to believe the single tweet I'd read about his death,, which seemed to appear and then disappear before I left. But the appearance of one of the Roy Fisher doubles who populate Britain (cousins all of the 'actor' who plays the narrator in The Ship's Orchestra) on the bus seemed to be a representative of the neither living nor dead. That's what the poem is about, a veritable Roy Fisher theme in a Roy Fisher wrapping, I hope. I hope it also sees the light of day. By the time I got to work, tweets from authoritative sources acknowedged his passing. And then, later in the day, word of David Kennedy's death. Then later: the London attack. For today, the poem is on the drawing board, as is another Wyatt/Petrarch poem, written this morning, one which glancingly mentions the terrible (but foiled) attack on Westminster Bridge. 14.19

More on Roy Fisher here: