Geoffrey Heptonstall

What Other Thoughts Are Floating?

What other thoughts are floating
In every possible world,
When so many cities shimmer
In the water beneath our walk?

Another moon is rising:
It may be an omen.
The air is a void of silence
Waiting to be broken
By a gathering of doubts
In the lost, high moon.

We are going to the gardens,
Wondering where this city is
When we walk between worlds
Now the moon has vanished.
Every traveller has a city
That every citizen dreams.


A creature of the coastal waters
Is the wader
Who watches each day
In shallow sea.
Who knows what he searches for,
Always out on the cold shore?
Ripples of the tidal flow
Envelop him, though
His feet tell him to run.
One day, they say, he will drown.

Geoffrey Heptonstall © 2013

The House in the Forest

The leaves of previous summers
Lie undisturbed in shadows
Of this bell jar world.
The colours of the wood
Are emerald and ochre
With shooting stars in mind
And a half moon even
In the morning sky.
Trees quiver in the chill
Of an early frost
Sharpening the air
Where desires are moving
Through to the open ground.
Shafts of sunlight soften
The earth which is Cezanne’s
As seen by admirers:
An abandoned garden revealed,
And then the scattered stones
That once sheltered the dreams
Of a hungry man.

Theatre of the Absurd

We were speaking of Beckett,
Of the lyrical anxiety,
Of several suspicions,
Emotions of many kinds,
Sometimes named for pity.

And the lives of strangers
Are a living memory,
A cry of the condemned
Submerged in dark chambers.

We choose like executioners
What we cannot hear
Even in the winter night.

Geoffrey Heptonstall © 2013