And was there ever space
between the nesting place of sense
and fortune's recompense?
The broken plan's dispensary
of promises we see
at last turn out to be a sop
to hope. We do not stop
to gaze, but seize inopportune
moments to importune
imagined gods to prune the vine
of providence in line
with inward-looking mindlessness.
Once, in a season less
seeing, let's call it yesterday,
I dreamed I saw a way
to stretch the month of May through all
the times of drought, of falling leaves.
I reasoned - no-one grieves
in green fields, till the sheaves are gold
and thresher ripe. The old
from age to age had sold the myth
of Barleycorn but with
no ear for quest or grith for doubt.
Then I would do without
their gloomy counsel, flout the tongue
of time, and in a young
man's satiety, let hunger wait.
I find I pass, of late,
close by the orchard gate, to see
the laden apple tree.
Stark fruits, these, no leotard
or thong to pass for hard
won muscle tone, no garden-grown
imposters. These have known
a crippling wind and thrown a glove
back in its face. I shove
the gate. It yields. Above my head
a choice of crispness. Fed
on dreams, I pick the reddest one
or she picks me. We run
childless to catch the undone latch
that closes as we snatch
desperate at the matchless end
of timelessness, pretend
to know what we're intended for.