Not at the eleventh hour

Lawrence Sail


Not at the eleventh hour

Lawrence Sail


Not at the eleventh hour

Quiescence – the moon
flirts in a shift of cloud,
the night-blossom hangs
heavy, with the weight
of a breast held
in the lover’s hand
 
Streetlights steady,
cars slewed to a halt –
here, now,
again, the river
smuggles seawards
hidden in its flood
 
And let not praise
be the qualified, almost too late,
propped deathbed cry,
but uttered whenever
the secret opens,
broad as sunlight –
 
From the skein of the water,
from the yaffle’s unshared joke,
or the robin of the bush,
tilted in attendance
on the air: from each
contingency that gives
love its bearings

‘Not at the Eleventh Hour’ from Waking Dreams: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2010), © Lawrence Sail 2010, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Lawrence Sail Reading from his Poems

1Water

2Calm sea at night

3Rain at sea

4Slack

5Fanfares at Eger

6Singer asleep

7The artist at 81

8Portuguese sonnet

9The age of reason

10Fountains

11Proofs

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

22Edenic

23Air

24The cablecar

25As a bird

26Another parting

27The enclosures

28Father to son

29In the Bar Italia

30from Ghostings

31Recurrent

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

43Sea-marks