Wednesday, September 7

The Garden

In some lights it is simple:
versions of green,
leaf and underleaf, tree
orchids, a fabric of vine

and flower and vine dense woven.
It might be original
as They first saw it—high,
sunless, breathing, a wall

called God, earth-rope and cloud-rope
tangled. And was
there sky? Had they caught its color
already in butterflies?

They tore the voices
away, silence was blue.
The wall sighed like an arras
and fell. When they stepped through

they were not themselves; far off
seemed closer, they stood
on flat boards in a world
of perspectives, while a cloud,

one only, a message pinned
to the ceiling, climbed
out of earshot and was lost.
It must have seemed

the far end of things.
It was in fact a start
in a fresh direction, a green
shoot, a co-ordinate.

As when a songbird sketches
three notes on the air: one
then another at a tangent,
then the first found new again.

-- David Malouf