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ONLINE JOURNAL OF THE ROBERT GRAVES SOCIETY
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Poetry

Poems

Jonathan Davidson

IMPROMPTU PERFORMANCE

We stop by the barn’s wide doorway,

which opens, darkly, to the day,

to hear a poem,

my friends and I.

Visions of fields and bees and wild boar

in the woods; the quiet roar

of a sea of leaves;

the harvest sky;

the bright red beehives hidden away

where the trees’ green becomes grey;

the afternoon gloom;

all pass by

as we listen, by the barn’s dark door,

piling high our ‘come winter’ store:

of words, of phrases;

of barley, rye.

BEGINNING AT THE END

for Lisa Peter

Beginning at the end, we closed the gate,

and no one saw us as we walked away;

the path ran on ahead, it would not wait.

A stream roared quietly across the slate,

its noisy silence cutting through the day.

Beginning at the end, we closed the gate.

A dipper said that we had come too late,

dark light refracting in the water’s spray.

The path ran on ahead, it would not wait.

And new wood turned to ashes in the grate

of cold, late afternoon, a warm decay.

Beginning at the end, we closed the gate

and found, in walking, how to replicate

the heart’s uncertain finding of its way.

The path ran on ahead, it would not wait.

Even the rooks were quiet, to demonstrate

that sometimes love is what we do not say.

Beginning at the end, we closed the gate.

The path ran on ahead, it would not wait.

TWO BOYS

Forgot the boy I once adored,
aged ten. An army family, his,
so very suddenly,
gone.

That first forgetting did not hurt
at all. I once, then never, spoke
of him, so no harm
done.

I saw him in my head five days
ago; a wet, cold spring, and yet,
improbably, the sun
shone

on his blond hair, on my tanned limbs
as we dangled from the swing
as it swung: dangerous
fun

for an afternoon. But afterwards
is as empty as the park was when
we’d gone. Two boys, then,
none.

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