Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Water in a Wood

Five terraced meres

dammed from a slow small stream.

Black still water images

every trunk and leaf, dark but clear,

a Claude, a dream.

A sword was never tossed in here,

and if it were

no hand would rise to catch it.

This is a place without legend

but not less magic.

Blue thin brilliant dragon-flies,

swallows’ acrobatic flawless flight.

A fish jumps at the corner of my eye,

back into black unglimpsed

as some thoughts dive out of the light.

Ripples are quickly still.  Again seen

in the mirror’s tinted grey—leaf-greens,

white birch-trunks, blue sky caught,

hide darkness where that fish is moving

like an escaped thought.