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The Same Gesture

There is a secret room
of golden light where
everything - love, violence,
hatred is possible;
and, again, love.

Such intimacy of hand
and mind is achieved
under its healing light
that the shifting of
hands is a rite

like court music.
We barely know our
selves there though
it is what we always were
- most nakedly are -

and must remember
when we leave, re-
suming our habits
with our clothes:
work, 'phone, drive

through late traffic
changing gears with
the same gesture as
eased your snowbound
heart and flesh.

from Collected Poems (Gallery Press, 1995) © John Montague 1995, used by permission of the author and The Gallery Press.


John Montague

John Montague Reading from his Poems

1Like Dolmens Round my Childhood, the Old People

2Woodtown Manor

3The Trout

4All Legendary Obstacles

5That Room

6The Same Gesture

7Omagh Hospital

8The Water Carrier

9A Bright Day

10A Grafted Tongue


12Courtyard in Winter

13No Music

14Last of the House

15Herbert Street Revisited

16Grave Song

17Last Journey

18A Response to Omagh


20There are Days

20The Family Piano



Books by John Montague