If your Nerve, deny you—
Go above your Nerve—
He can lean against the Grave,
If he fear to swerve—
That’s a steady posture—
Never any bend
Held of those Brass arms—
Best Giant made—
If your Soul seesaw—
Lift the Flesh door—
The Poltroon wants Oxygen—
“How do we leave our mark? The path in Richard Long’s meadow will fill in
again, with grass. Photographs will be enshrined in museums, lasting
as long as culture still values them. The feeling of step on earth,
finger on camera shutter button, pen on paper, brush on canvas: these
take us out of time while simultaneously bringing us into the moment of
heightened sensation. We can’t know what after-image will survive our
time on earth, but we can experience some moments with joy and fullness.”
The black train pulls in at the platform,
Hissing into silence like hot steel in water.
Tell the porters not to be so precipitate–
It is good, after a desperate journey,
To rest a moment with your perils upon you.
The long rails recline into a distance
Where tomorrow will come before I know it.
I cannot be in two places at once:
That is axiomatic. Come, we will go and drink
A filthy cup of tea in a filthy restaurant.
It is difficult to relax. But my head spins
Slower and slower as the journey recedes.
I do not think I shall smoke a cigarette now.
Time enough for that. Let me make sure first
For the hundredth time, that everything’s complete.
My wallet’s in my pocket; the white nylon bag
With the papers safe in its lining–fine;
The book and my notes are in the outside pocket;
The brown case is here with all its straps secure.
I have everything I began the journey with,
And also a memory of my setting out
When I was confused, so confused. Terrifying
To think we have such power to alter our states,
Order comings and goings: know where we’re not wanted
And carry our unwantedness somewhere else.