3060 Chapters
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71 a Takaka bride

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
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The Image and the View

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Image and the View

I seek now to compose

This country of my mind

Which I built long ago

In an extended dream

With what it is to them –

The men who love and tend

The vineyards of the place,

Who watch through every season

In mood that is half passion,

Half deepest contemplation.

And I would test the scene

That stood before I came

(Hills softly rising to

A round completed view)

With what I built long since –

A country which a child

Could animate and build

With images enough

To reckon up his love –

And make them both convince.

For as we can impose

Our image upon those

We fashion into love

And in the fusion make

Two separatenesses break

So with a place felt for

In dreams or visions or

Conjectures of the mind –

What we have shaped can be

With what we see combined

In one identity.

So now this Italy

Approached by mind and heart

Can never separate

From the old dream. For look

The men are walking through

The vineyards now and take

Their place within the view,

And grope within our vision

(Half love, half contemplation)

For us to make them true.

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A Vegetable Dream

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

How strange that God should need this jar of blood, unworthy and wayward, when thoughts might mass maybe on a butterfly wing, or between roseleaves, their shiver and drop so bright on green grave beds.

Each time I feel this body, mouldered sick, where my God sowed my soul,

I do not doubt His wisdom; but I think that on the Sixth Day he was tired.

A Vegetable Dream

I could be a tree, growing by your window.

I could listen to you then, and look at you all day, and blossom in the winter just to make you happy!

The pluffest birds would nest in my branches, and nights give me earrings of stars

I would give you, like leaves.

Through the wide window often

I would sweetly lean down to kiss the hair fallen on your face, or your lips with mine, that are soft with flowers.

As Autumn comes I would toss apples and redgold leaves for fun round your room, keep your shutters from the rain, and, perhaps, one moonlight night in Spring, fairy folk will glide across the garden and change me to a woman once again.

And then, damp with leaf and loam,

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Once in Greece

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


I have written so little about it, in truth

Hardly a word. It was Rome, Rome

On my mind always, and when I saw even a single

Cypress only on a dusty path I thought

Always of Italy.

I went to Spain often enough,

One month in each year for was it …

Five years? I remember siestas when I

Worked and you slept. Now and then

I too was captured by sleep.

But I would not try hard with that tongue,

Harsher than Italy’s, louder, unrelenting, then

Loud in ‘Oles’. There would never be bullfights, never

In all of Italy.

Italians can be brutal but quietly. Spain

Spoke of the fiery spirit, prayer rising

From John in his tower, from Teresa

Enclosed in her Avila.

I often missed the laughter of Rome, the shameless

Shows of feeling, the lack of dignity. Spain

Was what I admired, never what I might love.

I look down at the map,

At that square of Europe, vast peninsula, think

Of Goya and energy, El Greco and Christ but still

Rome draws my spirit. Campaniles are hers

And so are squares and prayers and absolving words.

Spain was a cold, pure passion.

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John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

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