Shiver of a leaf in a breeze, a hammer
hitting a bell on a steeple-top in the square
now to place this little town (now) with
emphatic precision by the down-at-heel
palace here, now. I put my cup down.
Whose house is that?

Hollows, pockets, shadows, lines, stitches,
pins & needles & the times taken to patch
sunlight to countless little threads distinct
on a chair in a room upstairs somewhere
over a garden on the northern edge of a
coastal city: quiet.

Draw a line through that then add them up.
Once upon a time. Becoming included in its
future the tracing of a straight line out from
a point in the past along this side of flickering
presence with the aid of a Ruler only reproduces

the straight line already constructed along the
ruler’s edge. What is your house made of then?
Tapping hammer, dove-blur in a tree by a
bedroom window, travelling water through
pipes about a wall, purline, gable. Birdcall.

Your jacket on the back of a chair.



[Maurice Scully was born Dublin 1952. He has published many books, most recently Play Book (Coracle Press, 2019) & Things That Happen (Shearsman, 2020). His Airs is forthcoming from Shearsman in 2022. A book of essays on his work appeared in 2020: A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric, also from Shearsman.]

Copyright © 2021 by Maurice Scully, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.