For more than two thousand years this head has been dreaming you.
Tilted back in the sand off Alexandria somewhere,
submerged under the ebb and flow, the stray ephemera of weed,

silver shiver of fish, the long slow shadows of laden ships,
refracted quiver of exploded stars,
and all this time it has been rehearsing you, urging you on.

And with what precision it has imagined the mayhem of history:
the torching of cities, toppling of walls and towers,
torture of minds, one calamity after another – each eclipsing the last.

And how intimate the knowledge of violence – for all around its plinth
is scattered the raff and lumber of strife:
broken statues, coins, skulls sealed in their buckled helmets,

amphorae leaking their oil and wine: spillage of grain, perfume, lives.
Even so, it has dreamt of you, longed for you –
as today you sit at the computer deleting word after word after word,

not this, not this, sensing the infinite flaring in each rush of wind
as it rattles your office window;
and huge white clouds still billowing in…poems.html