Poem Hunter
How The Eye Deceives!
(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

How The Eye Deceives!

I walked to the back verandah
And stared at the midnight sky,
The moon, long gone, lay hidden
By the rainclouds, up on high,
The wind howled out in the treetops
Then grunted back through the eaves,
My mood was black as the midden,
I thought – “How the eye deceives.”

You lay with your back towards me
As you’d often lain in the past
When the gods of war were stalking
And your eyes turned red, and flashed.
My life, like the earth, was turning
While all you could do was weep,
And the pit of misunderstanding
Lay there, where you fell asleep.

I’d read in your daily journal
Some thoughts of yours that bled,
And knew that my life was over
From the words I’d found in your head.
We flared, dashed flints at each other
That sparked, lit fear and doubt,
While the storm outside kept building
And the fire in the hearth went out.

At two, or three in the morning
I rose with a fevered moan,
I thought that the air might soothe me
So staggered outside, alone;
But there by the back verandah
The earth had split like a pea,
Our path tailed off to nothing
While a planet lay in our tree.

And there lay a pit of darkness
Like no-one had ever seen,
A silence deep and deadly
So quiet, it drew me in;
I almost lost my balance
To fall in the deadly pit
Where not a star had glimmered,
No God had ever lit.

You lay with your back towards me
In peace, asleep, in bliss,
While I crawled round on the carpet
And punched at the mantlepiece,
Then madly I raised the covers
And dropped them again, in dread,
I sat on the floor ‘til morning…
The stars shone under our bed!

You woke with a gentle shudder
And rolled to face me then,
Reached out, and smiled at the morning
And said – “I love you, ” then;
I felt the world come together,
A gentle breath at the eaves,
The stars were back in the heavens;
I thought – ‘How the eye deceives.’

15 July 1997

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