I only want to be with you – Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield


Suddenly the mild weather returns
          bringing with it grey skies
and a rising wind
          that rattles the eaves
Lethargy abounds on this annual day

          but I sit at my desk
I read      I write      I think
          or at least attempt
to gather my thoughts

          feeling my way
through the day

          For so much of my life
I have been a dissident

          a rebel
held strong opinions

          refused to swim
with the tide
         Persist in the face
I tell myself

In every space
          a hint of more

though more is often less
          a bouquet of roses
for example :
          too many
is to miss the point

My life has not been a single line
          but many strands
woven into many lives
          some but not all
at odds

In the dark night
          I am consumed
by memories of the many lips
          to which I paid service
perhaps pointlessly
          but always lovingly
and eager always for redemption
          Henceforth I shall act
so that there is no centre
          no borders or edges to my life
become an agglomerated existence
          a condensation of selves
with no hierarchy
          of moments or archeologies
all change
          all transformations
contained within
          a single singularity

Time is change of colour
          difference refracted
in the quality
          in the aspect of light
Time is temperature
          oysters consumed
at Whitstable
          or in Trancoso
Time is shadow
          that brings relief
Time is syllable
          formed in the throat
shaped between tooth and tongue
          Time is here and now
a weight that slips
          from my shoulders
Time is many particles

          of self
of selves
          held in suspension

Time is the river at Henley
          the trees shutting down 
shedding leaves
          to weather the winter :
the purity of the white swans
          on the water

herons perched on wooden beams
         the cackle of geese
dogs racing along the towpath
          all in a world of their own
worlds within worlds

          within worlds
The slow float of the evening light
          descends to the sound
of birdsong : nature in all its innocence
          disdains the mockery
of human ambition even as moths
          feed on our fabric
How will this beauty be preserved
          : by what breath
between the high cloud
          and the hill ?
So to the frail dust of success

          life’s bitter-sweetness
the tenderness of love

         the despair of failure
and inevitable loss

          Dusty Springfield
lies solo in the graveyard
          of St Mary’s Church

I only want to be
          You don’t have to say
To be with you. . .
          Just be close at hand


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