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THE

IMMENSITY

a poem by

Michael Blackburn

1 we spoke he with a glass of whisky by his side and a cigarette in his hand me with a brown exercise book and a pile of inexplicable philosophies on the end of the sofa my boyish script still legible then tracing immensities of space with a blue biro

2 where the river turns south the wind tumbles from a blue sky gently down through the woods finds out where wild garlic is and shaded cuckoo pint and a boy in a fraying jumper who stands barefoot in the stream caught on the edge of immensity

3 by such conjuration from memory and thus in imagination: this hill rising from the river steep and in one plane with a grey castle at its top and two stone bridges out of sight of each other no sound in my skull of river, wind, traffic or birds no sound but of the now dull voices on tv water filling a bath

4 and this valley its serpentine space air now ice once and earth before once and future dust

5 memories may be stored in multiple regions snow deep on fields by the river snow and a bridge different circuits two black dogs run belly deep in the snow it's the pre-frontal cortext a disused railway bridge two images sensitive to the structural aspects of semantics no recall of the cold the woods were black is it loss by design? the two images are black and white rapid fire snow black bridge dogs

6 silence to listen for it pointless you will hear the sound of your own listening inside even when it is silent outside when you're asleep when the dreams have gone that too is silence

7 you, a girl in the choir in your white school shirt among all the other girls in their white shirts your voices flowing through a forest my desire ranging hungry over your slopes and fields momentarily tamed a wolf down from the hill cautious by the river

8 the glass is lost the whisky was lost as soon as he drank it the brown exercise book is lost the bridges are not lost the hill is not lost immensity is not lost the fraying jumper is lost the girl in the white shirt is lost the biro is lost the wood is not lost the two black dogs are lost the snow is lost

The Immensity©Michael Blackburn 2012 This poem first appeared in The Echo Room (2012) as “Immensity”. Other Titles by Michael Blackburn The Constitution Of Things Why Should Anyone Be Here And Singing? Backwards Into Bedlam The Lean Man Shaving The Prophecy of Christos The Stone Ship The Ascending Boy Big On The Hawkesbury Pocket Venus Spyglass Over The Lagoon