Two Early Poems
(c. 1984/ Revised c. 1997)
To Hartley Coleridge
Your father's Ariel, greyed alive to a stumpy
gossamer prodigy, you dreamed too alike -
the gifted negative of paternity near blinding.
If Samuel flickered at an incandescent pain of sleep
you feared the half word's being blinked awake.
The shell haunted touch of one who rose at dusk
to drink, and trouble Wordsworth's later dreams
or a knowing cottager, for conjured paper, pen to set
down the enchanted sonnet vagrancy of who you were:
the scribbled down, uniquely scribbled out child of poets
inspiring as a prototype four year old
with the child slowly pressured in your voice
knowing better, the prisoner of others' great words
they'd no spell left in age to release him.
The Live Things
The live things darken. This, a pink room once
admits a greening shred of light to foliage the wall
and paraffin stove, pea green, its flame quibbled
to flower in blue, as though cornetted in dark wind -
- a world dimmed round - fingers piled blue fields of heat
for cornflowers - the whole creped round like a miniature,
in winter when the live condense and the living sleet
of breathing's chilled. And curving in this portrait
glass we lie beyond the heat, a clove erect perhaps
twined with its plant; we see beyond and cold.
The twiner breathes: "I love you." The dark's a language now.
I cannot see reflections branded in its steel of sleep,
blue sculpting curls your chin and lip to mine
in this our tangled frieze of winter flesh made marble.
We kiss; but this is summer, and the strange things burn.
Simon Jenner © 2008, 1997, 1984