I dredge again into memory for the sweetness
of the unattainable. It is a complex compass,
it is simplicity itself. I rotate the dome
of the planetarium: scan the flashing firmament for home.
West is nostalgia, the pangs of history,
the sweetest and most sacred, a miracle-land
or lake of delight, regret, illusion: a territory
where time is eternally vanishing as it shows its hand.
East is perpetual motion, the old wheel
and the new with its spokes lacquered, or studded
with gems and pebbles, its rim covered
in cards: I prise them off each morning to reshuffle, redeal.
South is the night, the quaking of the ground
and the blurring of vision, noisy report of a dim salute
from the suburbs: welcome to the circumnavigating mute
armada patrolling the royal mosaic, the inverted crown.
North is the moment the needle urges, the unstillable
longing for time that ceases to vanish, the all-answering hum
when the wheel pauses, the tremors subside: a syllable
sounds the world, the diamond and the heart are one.
What time is it? Still daylight or the dark?
My telescope is back where it began, full circle, stark
in its outline against the shimmering vault.
Maybe the eyepiece is at the wrong end. That’s not my fault.