You carry me on your shoulders

through the dark

and explain to me

the stars.

The owl in the old oak

calls in the night.

You chuckle

What joy you have

in that mysterious bird



One day you receive a stuffed fox

and, to everyone's horror,

set it up in the hall.

You want to put tiny

light bulbs in its eyes and make it see.

The owl comes

to sit above the grandfather clock

striking the hours

with its hoots.


When I was six

and staying at the big house,

the Blue Room I remember,

you came and slept in the great bed

next to mine.

Before dawn I lay awake

a little sick or something,

you took me into your sheets

and together we watched

the light come.


Dawn, never so mysterious,

never again so filled with rapture,

your explanations of the rising sun,

the globe that spun, the east-west

meaning, time and openings

of day and night revolvings.

When the sun came

striking the gauze curtains

and filtering into the room

I was one with the planet's turning

lying in your arms.


25 December 1993.