La fille aux cheveux de lin
you do not know,
woman, whoever you are,
that you figure nightly in daydreams
and daily
in ritual teacup, spoon,
and the flower vase
with the white lilac in,
the invisible props
you walk through
showing no surprise
at the banal events
of your everyday saunter ;
the brigands’ dance
sweeps Jenufa away,
the music affecting
your cursive glide
not at all.

why is it always walking
I see you walking
your slenderness a landscape ;
other sphinxes
have no muscles for smiling
clouds are less corporeal
yet from my window
firm to your bare foot ;

in the Japanese garden
an iris, meticulous
orange at the centre ;
hostas dabble
greenpale leaves
in wavering flat
lake vistas you resolve
into one single image,
the nympheas
and the papertissue
salmon-pink azalea :

haunted by
this ghost of the present
I sit on the stone wall
of the muted grey 
Italian garden
checking out birdsong
and wondering
if that was your own owl,
Minerva ;

beyond the fence
you are Alice and the white rose bush
she stands beside,
your Tenniel image
curiously simplified, slowed
in the May light
--time, and distance
fir and spruce and fern;

frail against massive
red cedars
your dryad form:
the dwarf maple
I kneel to touch
has slender leaves
like your waist.