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.

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John Montague

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1Like Dolmens Round my Childhood, the Old People

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2Woodtown Manor

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3The Trout

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4All Legendary Obstacles

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5That Room

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6The Same Gesture

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7Omagh Hospital

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9A Bright Day

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10A Grafted Tongue

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11Dowager

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12Courtyard in Winter

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13No Music

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14Last of the House

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15Herbert Street Revisited

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16Grave Song

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17Last Journey

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18A Response to Omagh

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19Wrath

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20There are Days

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20The Family Piano

22Landing

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23Slievemore

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8The Water Carrier

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Books by John Montague