Sport 10: Autumn 1993
♣ Andrew Johnston — Fool Heart
Rich scents, guess—yes, the evergreens,
there is something in the wind,
it is blowing from the Dwarf Conifer Collection,
whistling I wish
I wish I wish
and never completes the sentence ...
Shapes, shades, the Garden of Remembrance,
something out of stone—a hard look
at your fool heart, printed
Gravel, an avenue, a gate thrown open—
we've been down this path before.
Here you are, and
here: note this footprint's
toehold on the real, the whole
an accurate absence: it's yours
and so are these, where you went
in your sensible shoes, each neat outline
getting you ready
for the next step.
A shag shakes, dives—for its other name
and comes up with cormorant, a bottle
rolls in the shallows—it's empty
for a moment—it's clear
you can't stay serious here.
The bay breaks into laughter, its surface
nervous as Mercury—god of scholars,
is he after
your heart, the fool.
North, true north, magnetic north—
don't ask the heart for directions,
lost in the forest. New leaves
put themselves out for you,
for your trouble, for your
fool heart, filling itself
Tell it to stay
an obedient tree
whose roots yet crack the path.
Stern bird sings—at the top of its twig
'I've come to see the done thing done'
Stern bird in the undergrowth,
A man goes by with a noisy heart—
I wish IwishIwish—
he might need a new frame of mind,
something to fit the facts:
stern bird in its tree,
fool heart in its cage of ribs.
Sea like a lake today,
strait like a door, water
leaving of its own accord.
Here's a new view,
a hill of shale for a lover to look over,
a slope, a slight rise, a house over-
looking the harbour, its
points of departure, a port.
Here's a boatload of hope held up by customs,
a courtship caught before the boat could sail.
A mind made free in the Main Garden goes
slowly over the sense of what you've said.
Old magnolias burst into Latin—
white flowers flare, fall silent, leaves all
point to their divinity, a pink tree
thinks nothing of such perfection. The eye
leads naturally to where the sky is clearing
above the Sundial of Human Involvement
which can be located next
to the Observatory.