Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Varangian in Mickelgard

Woods, beech and fir.  Water—always

streams sounding hidden, suddenly leaping

free from the steep, white in a long fall.  Water

—always rain, rough in a storm, dripping

gently, a cloud.  Water—always the sea,

dark slate under a nearing storm, silver

out under lighter sky beyond the cloud,

sun-struck sometimes, but slate again soon

under the nearing storm.  The sea, reaching

its firths round us, embracing rock and field.

Here too sea clings round the hard land

but other water is rare, rare as trees.

The sun, the hard master, brooks no mist.

Where are streams and drenched woods?  Where is the rain?