Shadows grazing eastward melt
from their vast sun-driven flocks
into consubstantial dusk.
A snow wind flosses the bleak rocks,
strips from the gums their rags of bark,
and spins the coil of winter tight
round our last meeting as we walk
the littoral zone of day and night,
light's turncoat margin: rocks and trees
dissolve in nightfall-eddying waters;
tumbling whorls of cloud disclose
the cold eyes of the sea-god's daughters.
We tread the wrack of grass that once
a silver-bearded congregation
whispered about our foolish love.
Your voice in calm annunciation
from the dry eminence of thought
rings with astringent melancholy:
'Could hope recall, or wish prolong
the vanished violence of folly?
Minute by minute summer died;
time's horny skeletons have built
this reef on which our love lies wrecked.
Our hearts drown in their cardinal guilt.'
The world, said Ludwig Wittgenstein,
is everything that is the case.
- The warmth of human lips and thighs;
the lifeless cold of outer space;
this windy darkness; Scorpio
above, a watercourse of light;
the piercing absence of one face
withdrawn for ever from my sight.
Gwen Harwood's Other Poems
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Heather Burns
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1886 - 1967)