Brick 82

The Long Walk to the End of the Garden


Brick 82
The rusty stain on the pillow, the rumble of pain

in his knee, impromptus of a dream in which



he hacked his way out again and again, the dawn

fading up from the green-blue-green of the silver birch,

 

a flourish on the surface of the pond, a ragged skein

of bindweed on the stone-cold statuette

 

of that thin-lipped girl from the dream, the odds-on bet

that nothing returns or renews, that the stain

 

is just what it seems, that the sudden catch

in the throat, the moment of blind regret,

 

will be all in all, that his way through the garden wet

will take him, for sure, out by the willow-arch

 

on a morning much like this, and into the lane

beyond which must lie the far field, beyond which

 

a nameless road, beyond which a landline drawn

in clumsy charcoal below a clumsy sketch

 

of himself as pseudocide, a frantic silhouette

soon smudged to shadow by incoming rain.

Brick 82

David Harsent has published nine collections of poetry, including Marriage (2002), Legion (2005), and Selected Poems, 1969–2005 (2007). His collaborations with Harrison Birtwistle have been performed at venues that include the Royal Opera House and Carnegie Hall.