There was no fury in transcendent forms.
But his actual candle blazed with artifice.
Wallace Stevens ‘A Quiet Normal Life’
He lay on his back, poor starfish bairn, staring at grey blankets
of dismal stuff, and caught in one second stretched
the white face of his mother at the window, already aghast
with wartime frights, glimpsing her toddler trying to
walk on water in the goldfish pond.
He’d sit in his pram, out on the Moorway
in the very middle of Northumberland,
he’d be watching avid rooks trying to divide the air
between the elm-trees, and failing furiously,
he’d be watching the silvery snake-loops of the Coquet
down on the valley floor, to see if they would ever move.
He didn’t feel alone – colours gripped him:
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