Art Class in Brookwood Cemetery
Leaving the Cemetery Pale road to sketch the headstones
strewn like irregular verbs across this mirror of opposites.
We have cautious connections; the boy Baron died in his
car-seat whilst his mother shopped in the chemist;
a friend’s uncle killed by falling glass.
Someday I fear it will be closer.
Professor, teach me that life is inviolable
the gulf between the living and the dead, infinite
hand me a principle that I might be saved.
I am no artist but some god dragged me ex nihilo
to stare down the pale road, where air is fired by
the bomb bright day and petals punctuate lines.
This day’s sky is the blue of a thousand possibilities
this scene, perfectly fringed with pine, is everything.
My sketch says nothing, the burn of the moment
will always be beyond page edges.
We fall silent and move further apart. I think this day
is one I shall remember. The choir of insects sing in the grasses
somewhere from the mausoleums, a wood pigeon calls.