Now that the pendulous wisteria’s back
as violet round window or door
and magnolia petals are strewn across pavements
promising further days like these,
it’s suddenly more
than enough to be taking it, taking it easy.
Past the forsythia, whitethorn, laburnum
noticed again like some
recompense for an unrecognized lack,
old age emerges, planning to be
no longer here, I see,
see him turn at the corner for a little fresh air.
Not that he’s a mentor, no, nor memento mori
still in his wintry coat of black
but my only role model, that I do see,
ever so meek-and-mild-like
pushing a pushchair,
surely and slowly, at the latter days to come.
THE LOVED DEAD
When their lines’ feet tread us down,
last cherry leaves shivering
in the wind and rain, oblique
fine intervals casting
quaked shadow onto the opposite wall’s brick,
when leafage is yellow, russet or brown
and under voices a sound
comes remotely through of lasting
pattern at the fringes
of my strayed attention,
you’ll reach us like the season’s changes,
essential, in the background.
ONE MORNING AFTER
More seagull sounds and human
are mingled in a tired mind
this Sunday, coming down
to breakfast on what’s left behind,
on things that cannot be redeemed
at pawn shops, pay-day loans …
Yes, trust me, so it seemed
given the gulls’ mocking tones
re-echoing last night’s cries
and loneliness in having fun,
or trying to at such a price
for strayed revellers, anyone,
back under a day’s seaboard sun,
clear, luminous, well-begun.
Copyright Peter Robinson 2015
Peter Robinson is the author of many books of poetry, translations, aphorisms, short fiction, and literary criticism. He has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize, the John Florio Prize, and two Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Professor of English and American Literature and head of department at the University of Reading, he is also the literary editor for Two Rivers Press. Among his most recent books are a new collection of poetry, Buried Music (Shearsman Books, 2015), Foreigners, Drunks and Babies: Eleven Stories (Two Rivers Press, 2013), and The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (2013), which he edited.