Lanthanum Road 4.19


A desolate mind sailing through desolate space
above a desolate heart, Henry ekes his way
into November. All Souls' Day. Deep clay,
meanwhile, logs its transmissions (lateral

passes, shifting scales... a skittering grace).
& the end is always near, scrapes the fiddling
dogwood leaf – one bare North Star's his riddling
light-equation's standing proof (streaming millrace).

Everywhere the same. Light the middling
mean, all-penetrant... & what is this light?
Henry wears his testimony (ermine eremite)
weaseled into bookish office – his piddling,

flimsy prophet's reed – out of the substance
of his kin & kind, worn out, long-suffering.
Yet wear it he must, it is his witnessing –
out of stark void, quaint remonstrance

of battering faith. It rhymes with what he knows
(a widow's mite) of memory : long heart-lease,
tendered to the bankruptcy of time (a dream-
disease). Where (after Elijah) Elisha goes –

into the cloud of lightning-glory (track
of all the forerunners on up ahead, lighting
his way). Lanthanum road, of faltering
enunciation... Gloucester-sight-gone-black.

Exactly there, in the Star Chamber's cranium
of emptiness... the North Pole still shines.
Not Henry's to trace, these converging lines –
Noman's – very woman very man's. Light-home.