Howard Firkin
It must be spring in London now, the leaves
are little sunsets falling down in complicated
spirals, wood smoke twists from chimneys
to the smoke grey sky.

Someone streets away is splitting wood.

the small incomprehensible events
of uneventful lives
will shatter into single memories,
and we will study one obscure Rorschach blot
of islands off a coast
and hear tense voices press us
for spontaneous response
to what?
A word,
a smudge on some forgotten navigator’s chart,
a questionable entry in a log
that only found existence in the past few weeks
of warring politicians bleeding
words like dockside tears,
their snapping mouths and stony faces
bleak as salt spray
grey as photographs in newsprint
cold as winter gales on shingle beaches.

Still it’s spring in London now. The frosts
have burnt the vegetables, the smoke and clouds
close in around the town like fine rain falling
in the air, and everywhere the leaves
are perched like sparrows on their branches.