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Fire Sermon


The lissome bay is silvered slightly, in its supine lightness;
a stocking-textured water
takes the morning's cerise.

But soon, between the headlands, sea and sky are solid blues
that have closed, almost
seamlessly, like stone.

And yachts have come out to climb on the sea's face, slow
and wavering—the way
that cabbagemoths walk.

These foreshores are deeply tented in eucalyptus saplings
and tea-trees, leaned
on the engorged light.

Here cicadas' sizzling strapped toffee strings of sound,
filmy and flashing, fuse
into sheets, all around.

Now the rhythmical light-points shoal the water thickly
as the shift to shoveled
gravel in cicadas' song.

Simmered eucalyptus oil vaporously uncoils, accompanying
angophoras, the dancing
Indras of rosy stone.

Dilated summer. It seems you can see into the Flame, while
light-cells teem, cicadas thrum,
to its naked sensuous events.

On the far shore, house-faces are hung, white muslin among
bush humble as rubble
in the blue Empire.

I have left everything behind, for an endpaper shore; to lie
under membranous layers, as
lights vault, coagulate, rebound—

to see one ignite another, billowing, and genealogies decline;
to watch here day's ardor
that turns water into wine.


Robert Gray

Daylight Saving: A Selection of Poems
George Braziller


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