In the bushes, to assist the ravens, a thaw was picking and pecking
— Pasternak, The Last Summer

He dreamed of renewal | in a cramped attic room | He’d seen a film by Atom Egoyan, where | in a gale | saplings bent and flexed, but the old | tall trees | grown rigid with just being | broke and fell | He woke stiff | Icicles gathered themselves | like memories accumulated over years | like pearls, like axioms | The dead had built up such a charge in him | had invested so heavily in his morose demeanour | the solid ghost | of Mr Punch | battered his fragile head insensible | or very sensible, he was | not sure | both? | neither? | She made him | understand the winter | He found himself | in a strange town | in a strange country | a godless man | praying for a miracle | it had | come to that | The end of love requires | a sacrifice that love repels | His memory had become a morgue | stacked with unclaimed bodies | he wanted to | claim them | as his own | one at least | to establish | a clear relation | The swords wait for the bulls | in the matadors’ season | The moon | waits for lovers | could he | be numbered | among them? | From a cramped, crow’s nest height | he looked out | over the streets | it must be | Easter, or some other festival | he thought | for | as if in an animated | fairytale | the spires emblazoned by the frost at noon | turned the cold clear view | to blinding babel cuts of jewel | and across the rooves | in a silvery, pulmonary stream | there came the distant sound of pealing bells

Rooks picking across the ploughed field | in early autumn | the sunlight very still | the day very still | and my heart very still | very beautiful | A photographic stasis in the spirit | at once precise, fixed and mysterious | because your eyes are on it, and you are thinking | making | wondering?… | The turned earth a rich brown, the rooks, of course, black | very harmonious | very suitable | A place | once more like a photograph | comes, and comes again | call it a name | call it your name | The new beginning rests | at once resigned and yet querulous | in the essential inconsequence | of all human ends | She came towards him, and her tiny smile | blown on a fine draught of atoms | made him want to hope again | and for a moment | in that mountain country | rendered the mountains negligible


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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