Poetry: Overview | clivejames.com
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An object lesson in the speed of silence,
The condensation trail across the sky
High over London scores the Wedgwood blue
With one long streak of chalk so true and pure
It seems an angel has begun to crop-dust
The lower fields of Heaven.
Nothing is where you think it is for long.
Our granddaughter, here for a Sunday visit,
Goes through the house like a burst of friendly fire
Or a cosmic particle making its instant transit
Of a bubble chamber. A close search of my corpse
Would find the trajectory of her smile.
Convinced all lasting memories are digital,
The clump of Japanese tourists at Tower Bridge
Hold up their telephones like open notebooks.
As part of their plan, surely now near completion,
For copying the Earth,
They snap the coke-line in the stratosphere.
Our granddaughter would not sit still for that.
My wife gets pictures only of where she was.
Our elder daughter says the thing observed
Changes the observer: it works both ways.
Our younger daughter is reading Mansfield Park,
But the cat yawns the soft first syllable
Of Schrödinger’s name. Everything happens now.
None of it hangs together except in thought,
And that, too, will pass. One ought to take
Solace from the resplendent, but it goes hard
To know the world view that you had in mind
Is fading like powdered water,
Your mark lost in the thin air it was made from.
 – Australian Literary Review, October 1, 2008