The Mowed Hollow
When yellow leaves the sky
they pipe it to the houses
to go on making red
and warm and floral and brown
but gradually people tire of it,
return it inside metal, and go
to be dark and breathe water colours.
Some yellow hangs on outside
forlornly tethered to posts.
Cars chase their own supply.
When we went down the hollow
under the stormcloud nations
the light was generalised there
from vague glass places in the trees
and the colours were moist and zinc,
submerged and weathered and lichen
with black aisles and white poplar blues.
The only yellow at all
was tight curls of fresh butter
as served on stainless steel
in a postwar cafe: cassia flowers,
soft crystal with caraway-dipped tongues,
butter mountains of cassia flowers
on green, still dewed with water.
Conscious and Verbal, 1999