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

Lawrence Sail Reading from his Poems

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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