The God


I asked of your face:
is it dark,
set beneath heavy locks,
circled with stiff ivy-fruit,
cut with great hammer-stroke,
brow, nose and mouth,
mysterious and far distant
from my sense.

I asked:
can he from his portals of ebony
carved with grapes,
turn toward the earth?

I even spoke this blasphemy
in my thoughts:
the earth is evil,
given over to evil,
we are lost.


And in a moment
you have altered this;

beneath my feet, the rocks
have no weight
against the rush of cyclamen,
fire-tipped, ivory-pointed,
beneath my feet the flat rocks
have no strength
against the deep purple flower-embers,
cyclamen, wine spilled.


As I stood among the bare rocks
where salt lay,
peeled and flaked
in its white drift,

I thought I would be the last
you would want,
I thought I would but scatter salt
on the ripe grapes.

I thought the vine-leaves
would curl under,
leaf and leaf-point
at my touch,

the yellow and green grapes
would have dropped
my very glance must shatter
the purple-fruit.

I had drawn away into the salt,
myself, a shell
emptied of life.


I pluck the cyclamen,
red by wine-red,
and place the petals'
stiff ivory and bright fire
against my flesh;
now I am powerless
to draw back
for the sea is cyclamen-purple,
cyclamen-red, colour of the last grapes,
colour of the purple of the flowers,
cyclamen-coloured and dark.
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