Viser arkivet for stikkord robertson

About Time

In the time it took to hold my breath
and slip under the bathwater
- to hear the blood-thud in the veins,
for me to rise to the surface -
my parents had died,
the house had been sold and now
was being demolished around me,
wall by wall, with a ball and chain.

I swim one length underwater,
pulling myself up on the other side, gasping,
to find my marriage over,
my daughters grown and settled down,
the skin loosening
from my legs and arms
and this heart going
like there’s no tomorrow.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecking Light”

The Tweed

Giving a back-rub
to Hugh MacDiarmid
I felt, through the tweed,
so much tension
in that determined
neck, those little
bony shoulders
that, when it was released,
he simply
stood up and fell over.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecking Light”

Lesson

The green leaf opens
and the leaf falls,

each breath is a flame
that gives in to fire;

and grief is the price
we pay for love,

and the death of love
the fee of all desire.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecking Light”

Religion

after Bonfire Night
I find christ in the fields:
the burst canister

its incense heavy
in the coloured cardboard tube:
asperged, bright with dew

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecking Light”

My Girls

How many times
have I lain alongside them
willing them to sleep
after the same old stories;
face to face, hand in hand,
till they smooth into dream and I can
slip these fingers free
and drift downstairs:
my face is blank,
hands full of deceit.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecking Light”

Venery

What is he to think now,
the white scut
of her bottom
disappearing
down the half-flight
carpet stair
to the bathroom?
What is he to do
with this masted image?
He put all his doubt
to the mouth of her long body,
let her draw the night
out of him like a thorn.
She touched it, and it moved: that’s all.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra “The wrecked Light”

Cat, failing

A figment, a thumbed
maquette of a cat, some
ditched plaything, something
brought in from outside:
his white fur stiff and grey,
coming apart at the seams.
I study the muzzle
of perished rubber, one ear
eaten away, his sour body
lumped like a bean-bag
leaking thinly
into a grim towel. I sit
and watch the light
degrade in his eyes.

He tries and fails
to climb to his chair, shirks
in one corner of the kitchen,
cowed, denatured, ceasing to be
anything like a cat,
and there’s a new look
in those eyes
that refuse to meet mine
and it’s the shame of being
found out. Just that.
And with that
loss of face
his face, I see,
has turned human.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra samlingen “The wrecking Light”

Fall from Grace

I cannot look into the clear faces
of mirrors. The black glass of a window
shines back at me its shame

at all the times and all the places
where I pitched my life in shadow,
and couldn’t look into the clear faces

where blame now sits: replacing
love and trust with nothing, no
light shining back at me, just shame.

My head’s in flames. My mind races
and I try to shut it down. Sometimes, though,
I can’t even look into the faces

of flowers: all beauty carries traces
of what I seeded, then buried in this snow
that now shines back at me in shame.

My life a mix of dull disgraces
and watery acclaim, my daughters know
I cannot look into their clear faces;
what shines back at me is shame.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra samlingen The wrecking Light

Going to Ground

That smell of over-cooked vegetables
under the cupboard
was a dead mouse; so small a body
it would soon be gone, I said,
dousing the boards with
our daughter’s cheap perfumre.

Later, you remembered
where you’d smelt that smell before
- that last sweetness, that old
double-act of death and vanity -
a hospital room
where your Trinity friend
was dying of AIDS,
his toes and fingers
starting to rot and go brown,
how he’d sprayed the bed
and his nails
with eau de cologne.

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra samlingen The wrecking Light

Religion

after Bonfire Night
I find christ in the fields:
the burst canister

its incense heavy
in the coloured cardbord tube:
asperged, bright with dew

Robin Robertson (1955-

Fra samlingen The wrecking Light