Reading By Snowlight

I want to take the weight
out of language
the way snowfall
on the red planet
vaporises before settling

outside,
everything is moccasined,
the ground suddenly consecrated
as if something else
is being said

the air smokeless
with pure-white candles
from the sperm whale,
even the juniper
wonderfully anonymous

nothing within earshot
except voices
gentling each other
along the page
like silver foxes.

Queer, this effect
of snow on the psyche,
words waiting to happen,
the snowfields beyond
untranslatable.

 

from The Lady and the Hare: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2003), ? Pauline Stainer, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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