There never has been this.
There has always been this
moment of a fountain singing
like a bird as it falls still...
the birdsong among the drops like rain.
I mean time's interval
eternally always suspended.
Two women playing badminton
in a strange topiary garden;
shuttered ivy-clad brick house
under a rising moon.
One hits up the shuttlecock
the other raising her racquet
their dialogue eternally suspended.
The image with me everywhere I lived
for twenty five years before
I encounter one of the two women
for real... as mysteriously
our meeting sliding into my blood
like a slow injection
an acupuncture needle of precision.
The full moon drive back that night
the lane alive with young June rabbits
scattering at the verges.
I am the only car for miles,
hardly even needing headlights.
And every meeting a mystery
my connection with you forever a mystery
bright in your eyes and smile beyond words
beyond even sex. That we made love
under this same image one June night
once, and perhaps never again.
Then driving you back in the morning light
this same lane fifteen years later
our lives, our dreams, so many lives
so many dreams, so many meetings...
the soul flaring in that first moment
lit up forever  in each other's seeing.
Witness this before you die
here in the evening of your life
how much you never knew
or even understood
that is your deep bow to Creation.
And this new moon in Cancer now
alive, oceanic, everywhere
stirring our feelings like a sea
with all that lives in us we can't name
but in the stillness, poised like a butterfly
wings quivering then parted
we can begin to feel it, breathe it
here as we are, inside of it—
living a Now and a memory
that we know we'll remember
because it is so alive no
barely prosaic day could survive
beside its beauty except
every day somewhere is suffused with it
like a roaming cloud
I don't know where, or for who
but sometimes you tell me, sometimes
you open yourself just deep enough
to let your mystery speak, even slightly
like a small rain and I see you as I always want to
never before like this
and always, because you were always this
and even the years with their slow ploughing
trial or waste, harvest or tragedy
were nothing beside the light he remembers you by
in the light that's in his eyes.
     note: the line the plough makes and as it turns is the
     origin of the word 'verse' as Seamus Heaney reminded me.
     The painting referrd to is by David Inshaw,
     the Somerset-based artist.

for Victoria Brockmeier
graffiti bursts of colour in this sterile realm of grey
sprayed on any flat surfaces that can be found

among the concrete bridges and towers
polytechnic buildings and identical cars
but mostly on the stone boxes, track-side
bulging inflated bubbles of utterance
the biggest I could see— DEFO BYZ
simply white on black, inconsequent
that's who we anonymously are
and go on being despite the rational conversations
filling our ears all around us
in the name of unreasoning Reason
that doesn't know what song it sings
or what music insidiously tweaks its strings
to go on dancing to the greyest tunes
seemingly bright and alive, but not like you
with your straw blond hair and piercings
that tell me you are initiate female
here for the duration, to bear this earth
and speak of it as only you can
in an undying mortal voice
that threshes the truth from the scam


Huddled half-hidden out of the wind
swirling all around the stone building
in this cliff top church porch, port
we enter its polished air and font
luminous stained glass and ring of lit candles
before we see them, only as we're leaving again
on the curving ledge between lintel and roof;
dark-feathered discreet, almost overlapping
as close for warmth as they can: the lovers
(if we keep very still, they might not see us)

their nest beside, a castle and a crown
with its rim of white feathers like flags
naked as the day, barely out of reach...
here at the edge, still no room at the inn
where Love is eternally waiting to come in.

     © Jay Ramsay 2012