It begins as a house, an end terrace in this case but it will not stop there. Soon it is an avenue which cambers arrogantly past the Mechanics' Institute, turns left at the main road without even looking and quickly it is a town with all four major clearing banks, a daily paper and a football team pushing for promotion. On it goes, oblivious of the Planning Acts, the green belts, and before we know it it is out of our hands: city, nation, hemisphere, universe, hammering out in all directions until suddenly, mercifully, it is drawn aside through the eye of a black hole and bulleted into a neighbouring galaxy, emerging smaller and smoother than a billiard ball but weighing more than Saturn. People stop me in the street, badger me in the check-out queue and ask "What is this, this that is so small and so very smooth but whose mass is greater than the ringed planet?" It's just words I assure them. But they will not have it.
Passerby, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.
Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the unseen gold.
Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
Light you are as yet, who can still gaze.
Listen simply, if you will. Silence is a threshold
Where, unfelt, a twig breaks in your hand
As you try to disengage
A name upon a stone:
And so our absent names untangle your alarms.
And for you who move away, pensively,
Here becomes there without ceasing to be.