The Tesseracts

by Iain James Robb

From 'Excelsior' (fifth section) - a poem in 9 parts.

So this is what begins at thirty? Thirty-five,

And waiting. Those make love with water mildly, they

That sink and skim the tide's meridian fingers:

Brown swans that bob the blue orb's plumbing sheer.

So this has no ‘begin'; not their eyes only

That upraise their gentian forests - allfire arched-

But to the burnished bellflower bodies turn, red aegis…

That makes the flush moon burn as water swallows sound.

And between, each pussied curve outruns blink sunsets-

That domino flip-dawn, its palsied quistadors' blind play:

Of their compass arch, unchoosers of their quadrants…

Or not I who choose recall; halt Mnemony-

Raise the Lazar-seconds from their green-box borders.

O, yellow goddess of stuffed fallen gods, your fauns

Make hybrid murmurs, blueness blanched in russets,

That outlast all talk of moons and mocks of dawns.

How strange it is that freeness captures, caught so,

Not mine; still in mind the Spanish silence, clear

Of carry-cloud, and a double memory's blindness

Unknots the cords of its pavilion spring…

For another month. And, menstruating love-burns,

Of the sun's stigmatas, cross these estuaries,

That separate the mind from other self: for not I only

Am unchosen child to hymn Your finities,

Young Babylon. Seems the terraces, forever peaking, swing-

Uphover listing wingtide of the palmers' spráys:

That make their flux, of flower-pilgrimage, sigh amnesty,

To all such seasons same again in open house…

Such as the keel of beach keeps: same with sands that blink

Sans water — hidden recall of the eye or ear…

To the greenhouse seasons seeking that engender “Hither”.

Let down your ringlet-wreaths, once more, and cover me!

Birthed in the myrtled substance of the jewel of walls,

You plant your treasure red on felted red, whose stalks

Are not just those endelled of the Assyrian meadows-

Transplants detained from slumberland — but move with ink

Far darker than the belling blood of  jacarandas…

The inundators make their hot hydraulic sway,

With loins coquetting eyes amidst the palace flowers…

The glitter slides its shift of sequined mystery,

On acquiescent backs; there are no silver spheres-

But those the dusk's run rainbows into runnelled love-

For peacock sylphs, the bells again amid the garlands

Toll a time outlasting wilding words of war.

Ring vacant warblers, out of high and argent channels,

O memory my minister; un-harvest swells…

A thousand crested innocents…sigh, “Amyitis”:

In a Median empire's second deed of genesis.

Carmine steeds of Fate, subsumed in iron torpor,

Subdued in skies alive and last, shirk part of place;

Each tier the higher stadium of its fountain forest

Plants a land imagine we no doom begins.

Across the causeway lying here, reglide your lines-

Ye swimmers, not the servants, but we find our way:

At last in other eyes of mind, pale hymnody-

That beats a silent courser's wrath, in storm's design.

Pale flood in me I turn through vari-coloured doorways,

Beat me to sleep; let runlets of the rain-blows reign-

Between the eyelids of a princess who knows salt of semen

Can engender thoughts of flowers skip her loneliness-

Of satins dumb as erstwhiles of her mountain vineyards-

Collage of twitter-lights in plastic entropy,

From plants as dumb as towers kill the tongues of timewards:

Inside the free constrainments of the sweeps of me…

Towards infinitum, whose deeps are just illusioned lastness:

As a jacinth flashing blankly on a higher stair-

Blight sun I move to sidewise, but you shine in vastness-

Prince of the dead masques, greying harlequin, Despair.

Though the terraces, pavilions, breathe no breath recalls us,

I am drowned out, flutter, ín your utter circuses;

As manticores among your gardens speak to me, seek sunwards;

Oh, the tongues that my tongue turns towards empasture me.

O the blue the hidden blue, in me, my Amyitis,

Your hair-glove glides to milk swifts of their mysteries:

And your dew-bead buds, your scent of nighly capsized nearness…

Was it your king that claimed you, or your riding paramour?-

The suspended gardens in retreat, from hanging greenness,

And liquescent falls between the Tyre of terraces,

Bequeath appropriate song for separated Caesars…

Ah, I am the arid deadlights that engender you.

O heavens palisaded into tiers of eyes,

That serenade us, glancing, past the tick-tock air;

Prince of the dead masques none of here obituarise,

Kronos makes a hiding loneliness óf l'éau clair

That outsourced itself some turns before this twittered void

Resumed its place, where all the arch of water hies-

For no-one absent now; the sweep gives birth to lilies

More secret than the swimming rills of glyphs, who ride

The latticed sprawl that wallows out the whiter wave-

That outlasts all call of sands and sighs, of wilted springs:

Yet a dalliance of the rain-birds in the Winter's weave

Falls to lovers for a while, before the harvestings.

We the architects of shallows, we forget; turn sunward

To the West, to other gardens or a sward none slew.

For we do not sense any absence, when left far behind you…

Yet it's only by your leave we stand in front of you.