Poetry: On an Evening in Late Summer | clivejames.com
[Invisible line of text as temporary way to expand content column justified text width to hit margins on most viewports, simply for improved display stability in the interval between column creation and loading]

On an Evening in Late Summer

I want the bird with the key-maker's drill,
the chime-maker's hammer, the bird that sounds
as if a child with a piece of larchwood
hit icicles off a grille. And the man who comes

to sweep leaves from his gate, who feels
the shadows amass across his face the way
blowflies convene and scatter over the plums -
I want for him a sunshaft wide as a sombrero,

one he could nap under beside a stream
and a wild chyrsanthemum. I want to put
my fingertip in the eccentricities of a web
a spider has darned in the Christmas bush

and free a fly from its orbit. I want to be
taken where the sun puts the scarlet note of
poinsettias into the depth of a quince-coloured
sky, where the fringed wings of the thrips

and the ephemeral beetles of this February night
go on in the mind of a child who finds
in the honeysuckle and in the mayapple, a choir
loud enough to make her hum her desires.

I want to watch from the secularised regions
of the juniper a praying mantis step out
and tremble on anorexic legs as if it searched
for the chords of any diminishing number,

a psalmist trying to sustain a rhapsody
for Betelgeuse and the moon. What I want
is for the night to shake loose and whirr and dance
like a chanteuse of the treetops, like the bees

and the wasps drunk amongst the passion flowers
as if they were the ends of bows zipping
across strings in a concerto; then, over
the compost and the roses - in etudes about

life versus decrepitude. I want the wind
to rustle the buds of the lavender and birds
to tin-talk with the rain and the fall of summer
fruit. I want the wind to call like a Mexican

in his dreams the name esperance, esperance as
it blows across the uncut grass. And as I drag
my bench across the porch tiles this time of day,
weighty with the calls of cockatoos as it is

with the perfume of the gardenia, I want the fly
to turn the world on the turnstiles of its eyes,
I want a girl to turn plums in her hands,
each a magenta sun, and never need to wonder

how far anything is from a peer or a rival
while she hums her desires into the lobed leaves
and the scarlet bracts of the poinsettias, her finger
still sealed in the strings of an immaculate design.