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Now the Swift Spring

Philip Oakes

Now the swift spring makes our bed uneasy

and bruised earth scents the evening ; 

flowers walk beneath the pavements 

shaking the city and the street 

standards have put out leaves.


The white shoot leans to the light

and the moth courts the weeping candle ; 

neighbours are lovers and

the statues discover syllables

to release their tongues.


Later we may remember

a little of their language when

another spring frees the fountain,

but between the seasons lies

the death of flowers, the winter and a bed 

cold with the lack of love.


From Quarto No 1 (Spring 1951)