(after Roddy Lumsden)
Since you ask, this was how I stayed awake.
I imagined a stand of trees
growing tall, white trunks
curling like ribbons
up to the polished shell of our sky.
Better than that, I was a door
in the sand opening into pipeworks of earth.
Did I mention that when shadows
of fish darted past, I held on,
till they slipped through my fingers?
But mostly I thought of those two:
a couple of crofts losing heat
in a darkening evening. How one
faced out to the lough, and the other,
the town, over acres of fields.
They must, as we must, have the sting
of sleet; a mad experiment
on the roofs, pinging rockpools,
cattle; biting the faces of chancers
on the high road from the pub.
I thought of those two; then ribbons
of fish brushing my hands; trees gaining heat;
a light in a window, as eloquent
as Venus. The witchery of sleet. Rain
curled up in the pale shell of sleep.