for Paul / coming out of winter

On a bright winter morning

sunlight catching the tops of white buildings

a tree outlined against the sea

a wall of flints


To be able to stop and see this

the luxury            of being alive

when the waves crash on the shore

and a fresh wind streams up the narrow streets

A moment like this lightens the darkness

a little, lifts the heart until

you can walk down the hill near careless


How can that be?     suddenly slammed up

against a wall by memories of the dead

loved ones completely gone from

this place


Shafts of sunlight cutting through the clouds

onto the everchanging sea below


How many times we discussed the sea’s colours

all beyond description     words a mere hint

of what’s before our eyes    then and now


from Collected Poems 1964-2004 (Shearsman Books, 2004, © Lee Harwood 2004, used by permission of the author

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