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