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David Lewis Paget

Words

If all my words
Were scattered on the sand,
To mingle with
The acres of the sea,
Just four I’d keep
To hold you at the hand…

My woman now:
‘Grow old with me! ’

5 September 1979

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Audition

Life, a Play
In three parts, now
Is two parts done.

In this,
The final interval
We rearrange our scores,
The Orchestra, still poised
Will sit
To practice discords
At the pit.

Then like rent cloth
The curtains start,
The stage is lit;
And I would venture
At my part...

Were I not so
Afraid of it.

[...] Read more

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Three Starlings

I've seen three starlings in the sun-set
And the cold wind blows all over,
Three starlings flown from the Russian Front
Til the cold wind blow blows over.

Til the cold war wind blows over all
In the cold of the cold war warring,
Three starlings sit in the English mist
With the English Channel calling.

16 March 1974

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Hold As Hold Can

The time shortens
The pace speeds,
Times pile upon times
At the world’s needs.

We are the witnesses
At the end spell,
The ranks close rapidly
By the dry well.

You hold the centre,
You guard the flank,
The light but glimmers
Where once we drank.

His deep in hearts
Immune to man,
The last, lost faithful
Hold as hold can.

[...] Read more

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Angel Head

Love is some trick
You play on me,
Some sleight, some glance,
Tenacity!
You tumble the sheets
At my marriage bed
And ride with me, desperately
Angel Head.

Caught at your eyes,
Your thighs, your touch,
I ramp at your sighs
Your cries – Enough!
Then drown in lips
That would raise me, dead,
And sleep at you breathlessly,
Angel Head.

17 April 1987

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In Your Dark Slated Halls

When I am away
And you are there
Padding the dark corners
And the distant stair,
I carry you with me
As quietly you sit
Deep lost in some thought;
Am I part of it?

And a hundred miles
May lie in between,
But the sky is blue
And the grass is green,
And you in my heart
Will lift my despair;
In your dark slated halls,
Am I with you there?

18 May 1994

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Now That I'm Mad

Why don’t you visit me,
Why be so sad,
Twilight is wizardry
Now that I’m mad;
Moonbeams are paper chains
Drifting in lovers lanes
Life, merely labour pains
Or some passing fad.

Why don’t you visit me
Is it for shame?
What is in sanity
That sullies your name?
I’d rather seek delight
In some distant candle-light
Than worry the wanton night
At life’s cruel game.

10 June 1975

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Scene From A Yamaha

Scene from a Yamaha
Dry wind at dawning,
Scatter leaves steeplewards
Hayrick, reborn in,
Sleepy-eyed quarry stone
Quail stride between,
Such have I never known…
Such have I seen.

Cockcrow at Biddeford
Peppercorn to Willow,
What breaks the still and sweet
Summerset in silo,
Field mouse to Yamaha
'What have you seen? '
Sigh echoes back again…
'Dream the sweet dream! '

16 November 1972

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In a Cemetery...

Islands of memories
Cities of stone,
Sentinels of silence
In the great all-alone,
‘What do you find in
Your new-found release? ’
Sigh-whispered silence, girl:
‘Peace, perfect peace! ’

Youth fresh from aging,
Love’s bloom anew,
Old friends re-greeting
The girl they once knew,
Those who have loved you
In life’s livid crease
Hold to your memory in
Peace, perfect peace!

11 March 1975

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Two Hundred Years After Cook

Would Cook, I wonder, ever have dreamt
Of seventeen eighty-eight,
Of convict ships and dismal cargoes
Rushing onward to their fate?
As he sailed the eastern waters
Did he see the prison yards,
Were the gallows, gaunt and tall
Surrounded by the spectral guards?
Did he hear the groans and cries,
The cat ‘o nine, its evil hiss…
Could he possibly have known
Discovery would come to this?

April 1970

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