No sign out here, too far away to notice:
The storm that sweeps the crest of the Pacific,
Wiping the atolls; or the mountain range
That marks the limit of the hermit kingdom
With sunblind flanks of snow; the Serengeti
Mapped by those stubborn herds again. No sign
Of drift along the faint meridians.
Less far afield the western slopes unfold
With almost faultless progress to the plains,
And nothing but some shadows on the Darling
Below a bridge to give a hint of it,
Losing themselves forgetfully downstream.
Closer to home those favoured destinations,
Happened upon, returned to, memorised
In anecdotes and snapshots, start to shed
Their dates and their occasions. Even now
The path around the bay grows dubious,
The lookout hesitates to name its view,
As some small tremor like a seismic tap
Slides under them. In scrupulous departments
The papers, or their virtual counterparts,
Are finalised and undersigned, the drawer
One folder lighter or the file reduced
Perhaps by some few dozen kilobytes.
The garden presses to the house, drawn in
By absence to the windows, as they stare
At rooms that seem to warp unsteadily
To hold their size and structure, unsustained
By acts repeated daily, or the force—
Imagine it—of an imagination.
For that, with all its filaments unravelled
And cells pulled with reluctance from the walls,
The kitchen bench, the bookshelves and the wardrobe,
Hung with its flaccid replicas, has been
Dismantled and removed and parcelled out
To others, for however long it lasts.
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