The Ambitions of Water

The strings I used to believe I could feel

Are gone.

I have the ambitions

Of water:

Be around,

Go around.

And I simply sit, back

Against the beech bole;

Waiting for the night

When the centaurs

Will come to the valley pool.



Across the Water

Man hangs, happily distracted,

From a dream of smoke.

In another world; his

Friend is at one end

Of a fight-tense line.

Between them a woman whose

Skeleton is a charity-shop stool frame.

Across the smooth water

A thin stick holds up a man.

Me? I’m here; balancing unsteadily

On a reflection that shifts and

Cannot possibly be me

I’m not that colour, I’m not

That rigid, that tired, don’t

Look as old as the water

So faithlessly shows.

The Ticking of Other Clocks


What ghosts will sit

These patient seats,

Drift along aisles, up stairways,

Gasp and wave,

Believe and tremble

When these crowds –

Distracted by the

Ticking of other clocks – Move on?

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We sat at the Bar.

“Rivers are the ribs of the land,” the

Sounding-wise stranger said, eyes twinkling,

“When you buy a field

You’re buying the water:

That it has to offer –

For beasts, for crops –

Or such as it will need.”

Three whole hours

We sat at the bar

While the four-week storm cold

Threw itself at our windows, walls and lives.

Weaving home – the worst for cider –

I marvelled at the fact

That he hadn’t paid for a round.


Never Blue

Sunset road is

Empty again;

Only the hard bones

Of  the river of stones

Tremble and flow,

Deep sea-bound slow

‘Neath the gallow-bridge frame.

This river was never blue;

Water is only ever

The colour of what

It carries –

Or what it reflects.

P.L. Higgs (Linz)

(16th June, 2012)