Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

Previous   Contents   Back to Muir   Next







Gladly? now

We explore the silent alleys, crossing

Avenues of hours, barely saluting the signpost.

All threaten to direct us to the sane pale satisfactions,

To the dissatisfactions and the false reactions.

And the labour of gesture will earn us

Desirable evenings. But ever

Something blunders under the sofa. Winds

Fret through a chink in the ceiling, distressing the curtains,

Or the pictures slump aslant at vaguely disturbing angles.

For these we pay in unkind with inimitable Sundays,

Showing the old cardtrick to the old visitor,

Making the same mistake, ruining the same effect,

Forgetting to shuffle or sidle the ace beneath the imperfect deck.

O who would not be hysterically tired like day

That yawns, but is always polite,

Hence night, a black hand covering the cosmic tonsils?

So slowly

The bracelets of trams trundle over the muddled resolutions.

And lips of our lips, how they labour forever framing

I’msorries and thankyous uttered but never vocal.

(Notes Confusion when meeting at doorways and the codes of avoidance.)

Each passage conducts you to the same party, to the same plush kiss on the porch,

To the nebulous sense of the faux-pas committed or the sorry boorishly neglected.

Bungling down gardens of bounteous error we bluster,

while the arms hang awkward, wrongly affixed, they never blossom

Into such luminous pinions as bolster the angels.







Previous   Contents   Back to Muir   Next


© Copyright Muir Holburn 2010