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.


Lawrence Sail

Lawrence Sail Reading from his Poems


2Calm sea at night

3Rain at sea


5Fanfares at Eger

6Singer asleep

7The artist at 81

8Portuguese sonnet

9The age of reason



12Snooker players

13The glimmering

14Driving westward

15Paysages moralisés

16The Meat Commission, Kenya

17Eating maize

18Hammock journeys

19At Possenhofen

20A picture by Klee

21Thinking of Klee again



24The cablecar

25As a bird

26Another parting

27The enclosures

28Father to son

29In the Bar Italia

30from Ghostings


32Hallowe'en lantern

33 from Out of silence

34Trees uprooted

35A leaf falling 36On Remembrance Day 37Sloes

38White peach

39A travellers' tale 40Old men walking 41In a dream

42Not at the eleventh hour