First Things RSS Feed - Oliver Murray
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Sun, 01 Apr 2007 00:00:00 -0400 Our priest exulted, How wonderful His ways,
then climbed his pulpit’s Calvary. The tide,
lit by the after-dawn had brimmed the bay’s
calm space, reflecting light on the roof inside.
What boy, by a choir-loft window, could resist
turning to look? A seal swam round a trawler
whose lantern-masts were moored above in mist,
and rippled sparkling water-lap down all her
salt-rust length. Past diesel pumps and dock,
the sun unpicked the nets by the fish-house door
as I watched the seal clamber on Pollock’s Rock.
The mist had almost dissolved and a green pour
of ocean swelled and turned by the harbour stair
while the priest struggled, explaining God’s design,
and the seal shook his watered quiff of hair,
slicked down for Sunday morning, just like mine.
Tue, 01 Mar 2005 00:00:00 -0500 O sun, old alchemist, you’ve set us wrong.
Heat grips the land; the ditch-cut where the stand
of alders sipped is dry. Your brassy gong
has summoned dust from Africa and dancing
decks have sprung beyond the town so nights
bring shadows through the fields to trysts in lands.
Kitchens are like samovars at noon
and hens stroll in our open door, incline
their heads and pause, alert, mid-stride until
my youngest aunt scatters them with a broom.