Nature is a circus tent – its bones, two tall masts
which commune in whispers of canvas and metal –
and man is a clown passing before conspirators
who watch keenly all the old familiar tricks.
Look up: just as the acrobat’s bright weaves of ribbon
furl, unfurl from a knot tied fast to the big top
(itself night-lofty and wide as the space between stars)
so do scents, colours and sounds dance and braid the air.
Perfumes fresh as a child’s gasp at the daredevil,
sweet as candy floss, green as the strongman’s glass eye.
Others are sly with the tyranny of those things
which cannot be forgotten; the circus moves on,
but leaves its residue of saw-dust and glitter,
high-water mark on the harbourside of the soul.