by: Robert Ford
In these ekphrastic poems by Robert Ford, perception is a type of communion, a transfigured merging of the subject and object into an ontological whole, providing the reader with the necessary sustenance only found in poetry: “…More to feed/ us here than could be/ eaten by a single eye.”
Thoughts from an early morning train
Strange how certain things – whilst falling apart –
take on shapes that almost seem deliberate,
as though planned that way, as though this
were merely a truer angle to see them from.
A reassembly of ideas. A reversal of mirrors.
So you become the terrified hare cowering in
the tractor wheel ruts as the carriage spears by,
not the owner of the jaded eyes witnessing it.
You always have been. You see holes now
where once there were pegs, an illusion of
opportunity created by yourself, by your own
shadow sweeping across the picture as you pass.
Afternoon, hillside above town
So the heart must
actually work because I
feel its hourglass thump,
its rising, gnawing
reassurance under my
jawline, the lazy blood
squeezing through its
chambers. More to feed
us here than could be
eaten by a single eye.
Below, in their paper
cages, the chattering
drones imagine time
and crush themselves.
All those things I forgot
I wasn’t thinking become
static. They crumble
at my finger-ends.
Only a single photograph survives out of all the clouds
she once had of him, from that roughly assembled collage
that once papered her sky, and filled her up like bones.
They haven’t met. He’s still unaware of his importance,
of his hands, and what they’ll do one day. He’s almost
avoiding the unknown photographer, posing obliquely
like he’s written in italics, an unnatural tilt to his cupped face.
The room is an open field, but his eyes are those of a creature
who knows its limits, one you’d never quite be able to
bring yourself to edit completely. Necessary time has slipped,
leaving new tissue. She sees it now, and has him marking
a relevant page, knows exactly where he is for once.
Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, The Lake, Butcher’s Dog and San Pedro River Review. More of his work can be found at https://wezzlehead.wordpres