Charles Wilkinson

Praise for the whole structure assembled before nightfall,

evidence of wealth made & kept: a mind acting in the world

nailed the sketch to earth: this is the builder’s house.

Oh, how the verse moves, accomplished as brick & glass.

It fabricates a style, creates a space of measured quarters

crowned by capitals of stone; so when he quits creation

the work stays on steady ground. Here is the roof

achieving against rain & these are the rooms raised

in the face of dark. At dusk, adding finish to the evening,

                                                he leaves his mason’s mark.

Charles Wilkinson
‘les murs’

   immured in the morning: flat sky,

its undiffereniated grey the road’s

   gravelled uniform; the level fields,

hedgeless, dyed without distinction:

   the path behind at one with the path

ahead. We must admire the wiliness

   of walls, how they install their forms

in the landscape, present themselves

   as clouds, grass & cows, block-like

as if built from bricks. an absence of

  doors in the day becomes our perception

 that there’s no way out from what

   imprisons us, except how the final hour

begets non-sense: a cessation of breath.

   now illumination at evening shows

up the shadow-bars on the last stretch

   of the road. escape will be sure & soon.

dream as you walk of ultra violet

   plus green & all the hues, beyond

the grayscale & the spectral range,

   which butterflies perceive, but we

have never seen: those shades

   after death surviving undercover,

alive beyond the limits of the walls:

   the ghosts made into wide wings

waving, athrill in a million colours.

Charles Wilkinson
mix of plashy
      white-light & rain, 
       drear mist suspended
          over moist fields;
lace-shift of droplets, drawn over
the lake: the definition of dolour.

the house under a flood of silence.
never again, your laughter & song.  

to the west, afflictions form cloudily;
the water cycle as a rhythm of sorrow,
   slack sunshine & vapour,
     though the weather’s trick
       is one fine minute:
         a blue card flicked
            from a grey pack

  & the wispy showers
     eased over the hills,
      whispering as if sad
        at the window, & 
         slow-soaking the lawn.

so no way to freeze  private tears,
though groans stick fast in the throat. 

immutable melancholia, the complaint
constant, tainting in black-splashed nights
for the theatre of grief sobs through hours
moving towards pink, slaughtered dawn.
Charles Wilkinson
not five minutes lived to the full, 
the years slide off behind you; 
slippage of detail swaps autumn for summer. 
September maintains it might be June.
(the bone’s barometer proclaims
bad weather) 
                     so evening is red light
fretting on the horizon: at dusk
starlings are dark-winged & retracing,
anxious to the roosts
                                & now is the hour
of sorrows settling, counted into the nest:
nightfall remembers the betrayal of promise,
& all the promises not kept.
                                     waiting for midnight,
& not one hour slept: rain is recurrence
& will not forget, a fall not cleansing,
yet tripling the drench, its drum & drip.
wet plays vain penitence on a window pane:
– regret, remorse, regret. 
Charles Wilkinson
it is the office of osmosis
to concentrate on solutions

for we are here & permeable
the world moving through us
our make-up of water

the equality of duty & prayer
its passage from weakness
to strength

reversing the process
could be the answer
that is purity

the pressure of light
on our lives

or some words
said for
the dead