Richard Moult

Encomium To The Source (II)


The Moon floods the ruinous garden
Where I had strewn the debris of some former life;
Crowbar, axe, wheelbarrow, fire…

The freezing air vitalises, but overnight, the primula slumps to the grass
Bearing the appearance of death.
Out of respect, I keep my clumsiness away from this sleeper.

Awake, my coal-dusted hands – which cannot be cleaned, no matter how much I scrub –
Pull the door upon the night, and I lie within a bed made cold:

I dreamt I was a mountain hare
Feeling the heather moorland breathing in and out with me
My pelt twisted with ice, sprinkled with the warm blood of my companions.

Terror took me, limping, into the forest;
My eyes and those of the birds – who sat quite still among the needles –
Were the same openings into that which effaced our Selves.

This forest labyrinth had no centre:
I was a facet of a polyhedron
Suspended in the darkness of a forgotten arm
Buried amongst infinite branches of arms,
Never to be reached.

From a tangled structure – perhaps a type of mercy seat –
A figure like a fox was raised on hind legs
Apophasis crawled over its face
And it held what looked like a circle or crown of antlers,
Though I knew it was not.

I could not see the circle’s centre
Yet I perceived many elements there
Gathering towards some coinherence

The figure spoke in my mind:
What do you think you know when you consider the branches and root systems of these trees
And the blood vessels of your heart and brain and lungs?

Time for the seeking to stop.

When I awoke, I was travelling the road
Pulling a cart to collect water
Passing the new Gorse flowers
And feeling the Sun finally warm the earth

Time for the seeking to stop

The Sun shall return the water;
I shall make myself nothing through Prayer.

And yet – was it temptation, a test? – the engulfing night
Brought me to sit by the window now pelted with sleet,
And revisit a message from a friend.
Two photographs attached:
One, an image of an explosion in a distant country
The other, the birth of a star.
The message ended:

For we are not just stardust…

Tomorrow, I shall concrete the broken floor for a stove
But only gather from the ground that which the trees have shed.

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