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'If I were called in to construct a religion'

 — Philip Larkin


But no-one these days goes in much for constructing religions:

too many spivs padding about at the auctions, too dark in the alleys

away from the ferris wheel’s brilliant lights,

upturned shopping trolleys beside the gimcrack malls,

wonky castors insisting on their own directions.

            Called in to account for faith in something, though,

I too would fix my footings in elements indifferent to our nature:

a callistemon’s redness beyond our need to know

what red is, what the bees dance into; a Manchurian pear

where it catches the first of autumn’s light; the sweetness

of that transition, plenitude sufficient

in the conversation between sun and shadow in its cells,

hibiscus that taunts the frost with its carnival

undaunted beyond all sanctions of the season.

If I have forgotten to celebrate the earth

let that be my error that I now confess.

Nostos 9, November 2023

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