for Wendy Oliver, who knew him
I am the sick animal you dream you are caring for
In the long avenues of night I cannot find a name
For the sickness except the despair of a poet sensing his veins
Silt up like the delta of a neglected river with none of the solace
Sidney Graham felt as he lay by Nessie’s side with Madron’s circling
Wood and its snow blanket of comfort falling as he glided
From this world into the next, finger-painting his adieux into the small
Of her back, bidding them be hidden beyond the tiny bulk of his poems
To be found by the faithful far from the yawning taverns of eager tourists.
Alone with Nessie and her shadows in sleep as the wood of Madron
Moved slowly towards that final deep.