The enclosures

Four unexpected meadow flowers slide out from
the sky-blue letter you sent from Kyrgyzstan –
a clover with pink bristles, a blue vetch
faded to light mauve, a yellow crucifer,
a white chickweed. They lie here, tiny, flattened,
intact – as delicate as any of the wreaths
found buried with the ithyphallic boy-king
and all his rubble of riches: the collarette
with little love-apples and berries of woody nightshade
strung on strips of palm; or the farewell garland
of olive leaves, blue water-lily petals
and cornflowers, which someone left on the dark threshold.
These, too, paling with absence, recast love’s spell
as open pathos, and time as immortelles.


‘The Enclosures’ from The World Returning (Bloodaxe, 2002), © Lawrence Sail 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1Water

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2Calm sea at night

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3Rain at sea

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4Slack

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5Fanfares at Eger

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6Singer asleep

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7The artist at 81

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8Portuguese sonnet

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9The age of reason

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10Fountains

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11Proofs

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12Snooker players

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13The glimmering

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14Driving westward

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15Paysages moralisés

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16The Meat Commission, Kenya

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17Eating maize

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18Hammock journeys

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19At Possenhofen

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20A picture by Klee

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21Thinking of Klee again

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22Edenic

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23Air

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24The cablecar

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25As a bird

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26Another parting

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27The enclosures

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28Father to son

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29In the Bar Italia

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30from Ghostings

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31Recurrent

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32Hallowe'en lantern

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33from Out of silence

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34Trees uprooted

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35A leaf falling

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36On Remembrance Day

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37Sloes

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38White peach

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39A travellers' tale

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40Old men walking

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41In a dream

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42Not at the eleventh hour

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43Sea-marks

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