Scar and Myth

We observe the town
from the viaduct: the light
of spirits focused into water.
Some fallen bricks split
by the roots of sapplings;
their phallic limbs etched
in mouth and anus, drawn
religiously on walls.
Necklace and bracelet hearts
of rainwater, the broken
ivy. These pornographic
catalogues of misappropriation;
a landscape of scar and myth,
the midnight dog patrol. Here
talking is to do with silence.

* * *

Winchester bypass,
historical blackspot:
romances and worms
in pathways deep.
Civic divinity, the college,
a proud echo. Myths
of boys in the dusk,
their communion breath
blanketing laughter,
their private jokes. Emotional
socialists who earn
their guilt at school;
dressing down on Fridays,
their black unstrung
jumpers. Oh, be prepared
for parliament, the sluggish
spreading of the river;
overseas development
contracts, managerial
discord. Don't speak or spend
or break the slow spell
of your cloistered education....
Beautiful youth; Ophelia
beneath the mournful willow;
man of oars; your origins,
like heraldic arms - conspicuous,
are known to us all.





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