Saving Time

Ian Patterson

for John Berger

It was called a hand as proof, spotless and caught
      like watching a false cuff, kind of. It is a pepper mill
or a path like a vision along to the glass door. Her will
      and the men, hesitating, end up like a house fire.

A tight fit bolts and lands in such a way. The shape of hers
      seems to me to lament mere shade. How to paint more
of a given social role or type had nothing to do nor to believe
      before the turn in time. Nothing can contain itself.

I knew about the grey stone and vegetables carried in his sack.
      Writing, like the habit of meagre eating, taught me about exile.
To be a help he took my arm, white hair, ashes above his destiny,
      he made his own way in his studio, a lesson for the future.

And when I told him, he imagined the dark coming back
      until the sky flashes and the hill remains after death
even as you chart a future edifice of words. Do not explain
      rags of mist and speed: the eyes are closed to hope.