In Defence of Cliché
I write: ice in the fjord as pale as thought
then hear the calving face crash through my language
with a sound (like what?) like cannon fire
and the moon seen by our telescope
refuses to be petal, snowball, sleeping moth,
regarding us with its inhuman face.
The sky is not the cover of a hardback book,
but a sheet I try to lift, imagining the stars
as skin, until the night is veiled green -
a belt first, then a curving whale bone arch,
that strain of time that Hopkins saw
correcting the preoccupation of the world
and we stand like nothing, shaken
from the pockets of our lives, our mouths
stuck on the silent word for awe.