It was what we made of our lives.
We put ourselves into it, together.
Sometimes it was brash and noisy and brilliant
like a Chinese propaganda film on the building of dams.
Often it was more obscure, and soft,
like the shadows of petals on a path in the evening in spring.
And, oddly, it was not the dam-scaled things,
the overt, the towering and heroic,
which were the most difficult to build,
but the way the shadows of petals moved very subtly on the pathway
when the breeze stirred them, just before nightfall.
And those were also the most difficult things to bear.

But we could not stay in the places we had made.
Somehow, for some reason, we were forced to move on,
or we forced ourselves to move on, or to drift, to be carried —
in any case, in the end, it came to the same thing,
and I didn’t see so much of you in those later days.

What claimed our love? How did it subside?
Into what vanishing did it go,
like nomads, running out of land,
like a road addicted to horizons?

With some of the guys from my old crew, I watched a documentary
on the Graveyard of Planes. They showed a part
where they cut up the B-52’s, all my buddies
were silent, I think if each of them were alone,
they would have been crying.


from the unpublished collection, Static, c. 2006/7