Eyes shut:
eyelids closed against the slanting sun
seen orange-gold, red-amber ground,
beaten thin and worn by passages of time,
scratched by age in faded might-be runes,

sprung from light and penetrating warmth
shadow-flashed by rushing images
on stretched-wide silver overlay –
a bright tarnishable distraction.

Eyes open:
stood still and cold and insignificant
beneath a springing vault,
celestial pale and perfect blue
with hints of its infinity,

lit from behind by first sunlight
reaching out to strike the topmost mast,
steel beyond the barewood tracery,
a mark of beauty in the everyday.

Those eyes that looked in vain
when young and wide,
for the parents’ absent glance
and found bare eyes instead averted;

forged asunder and unready
in savage lack of primal bonds,
consigned a lifelong blank of longing
for what was sought and missed;

now hooded, searching for reflection
every day in someone’s eyes, a trace
to mirror spark and recognise;
no substitute but maybe some replacement?

Ourselves alone, deserted by our guide,
companioned by our siren compass voice,
familiar halting exposed unsure
while seeming confident and strong.


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