Sunday, 20 October 2013

Minerva by C. H. Sisson


If silence were enough
I might well have it here,
And yet the word will puff
And blow until I hear

As it climbs the vast hill
From the dark pit where none
Can apprehend it till
It sees the distant sun.

In the pit only sleep;
In the sun only death:
One moment on the steep
It draws a waking breath.

I go to meet it where
It touches life at full:
‘Salut, mon fils, mon frère,
Touch hands, but do no pull.’

You pull, and I go down
Where silence holds me fast.
I pull, and with a frown
You mutter and push past.

Only a moment’s poise
Gives us a common mind,
Mere silence and mere noise
Shown up as being blind,

As when, before a form
Containing all I seek,
I recognise a norm
And do not try to speak.

C. H. Sisson, Antidotes (Manchester: Carcanet, 1991), 36.

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