The train pulls into the station
Dragging in smells of office hours
And open its doors at six exact.
Leather pens, refilled all correct
Confident on the metal steps,
Move tracing the well worn paper rune
Taking a copy of their day
Onto the last company sheet.
But, now, a sudden shower
Has them wrap unfinished reports
About their thin redundant suits
And their faces are lost, dark flowers
In the evening sprouting
From their empty button holes.
Wrapped in the news of yesterdays
The shadows wake in the alleyways
To fight the hierarchy of cats
And feed on cast-out scraps,
The heavy smells from restaurants,
From family stoves and bar-room grills
Drifting on the undiscerning nose
Unconscious that a day has passed,
Unaware of the hours kept
By the planet’s inner flame
Now blazing from a thousand hollow lamps.
Into the empty stadia,
The desolation of her bed
Where once a hundred suitors lay,
Planted their distinctive flowers
And now blooms just an iron grey
Stiff with the cynics’ chlorophyll,
Coal dust lining its tired eyes,
Its ribs, ribs that named the seasons
Moulded now in unchanging steel,
There comes a moon through the gates
Carried in a shower of gold
And for a moment is revealed
The passage of a throwing hand,
A vision she can barely grasp
Before the arc lights prove it false
And introduce another novel play.
Clothes drying upon a loose line
Strung from a black maid’s lips
To her lady’s languid hips;
This much can be seen in any scene
In any gallery’s walls
And the eye can ridicule
The untragic tragedy
But the sense that can join the eye
To the painter’s last resort where
The truth has meaning in itself
Lies in the common brush’s lie.
Place a mirror in your handbag now;
The world is to be found
In our fatigued expressions.