Novelas (interstice from Black Swans)

by Iain James Robb

Insterstice: Novelas

Four Sonnets Since




You do not sense the beauties you engender,

Though perhaps perceive their cruelty, yet of rue

No part exists in attribute of gender

That could hold your Arctic to the part of you:

Blight songbird, to life's omen that discloses-

Though your falseness constant in itself deemed true

Of me, unopened of the den of roses,

In the chrysalis of sight escaped from view.

There is a mildew wrought on all our glories:

What the rain takes to itself is slain by rains,

And the light that lies on limbs tells none its stories,

When dismissed with drought that fells one Fall's moist gains:

          So even you, shown envy's greener show,

          Shall even be with me, yet fail to go.





Seek leave to leave this future you won't notice:

Through the veil of present sense your grace runs free,

Grace permanent since turned to others' votice,

Though the apple-blossoms call this ‘whisper-we',

Remembering itself, to turns on flowered poniards,

And the reveries of the bronze of honeyed fund-

The dance of summered drums in appled orchards

That designed your face in summer's cummerbund.

Let physic laws slide mirrors, and remiss

Its rule at your grand moonfall, and the run

Of daybreak's lull in dusk's dun genesis,

To make the sequined sphere its swan-kissed sun:

       Your silver sister's parks and pleasant seas,

       Caught in violet void, all man's astrologies.





Late galleries and pleasauntries of hush,

In conference to the birch-pagodaed lawns,

Where once we touched in lilac and blue rush

Of air, and your eyes' dapple-doppelled dawns:

Circumference of a strange command none kiss

Her sashed in violet shadows that I stride,

Recalled to March in Winter's chrysalis-

My pain's delights, the lights in which I hide

My lives from you - to save your knowing others,

For you know your times at far have brighter been,

Know that the sadder sons of many mothers

Will relinquish your face last and be their queen:

      But I, outlasting all these bitter olives,

      That your absence bears, wear substance of our loves.





Youth's lovers you've outlasted crawl unbidden,

And proclaim me cousin with them; I disown

The ranks of all these parched and shadow-stridden,

In the helix of your own mnemonic throne:

Which I bear mine, though memory of one

Negates alternative myself, and holds in lieu

Of pleasure, thoughts of those who knew man's sum,

Unmasking Arctic, crowned at crush of you-

Against night's chrysalids that did not come,

Except to view your hairfall's flutter: flies

Your gaze the double nursemaids of your sun,

Day-moon that cups all man's attempts to rise:

We frozen ones shine separation on, that serries

Your sail-float, cerulean heart, of slumbered skies.




The Kiss


This mist fall spells redundancies of breath,

Two dissolutions caught in mouths that twire

Like tiger-tongues, in this our finite death:

Salival brands that dance and flag in fire-

As the water's mark allays its part and peels,

Then stalks again the dike that fronts the shard

Of derrick black as that long boulevard

No ghost whose home is star-shaped yet reveals.

Ah, has it been before? We walked this way

Once others. Now subsumed within the swell

That bathes and quells the child and man, when spray

Resounds the next moist season's carousel-

Does this or that mouth hark another's rise?

All death's a limbo where no absents age:

Feyed memory then a dowry or a cage,

Grave pastures, or the feints of paradise.


Allow me shield of moss and brim of thorns,

With wooden sword to scale life's lower ramps,

And linger, cold, for closeness that rethrones

Her nether lips that moonlight in the lamps;

For proxy novice courage must be claimed

At harvest-fall of passion, though they pass,

Those ones I framed for palaces of glass

That lasts as impoverished though is named.

Sail me instead to west to doubling day,

To glide to purple shoals my hawser lines,

And sip the blood of lilac nectarines,

With drowned men free of poison of their clay.

Hesperiad strains may learn us at the scarps

Of churchyards lichened with the scent of this

Remembrance, of the glimmering and the kiss:

The langouring and the language of the harps.