In Arcadia: Memories of a Painted Dawn
from Arcadia, 1986

Well met in shadow, descended in spirals,
Love to whom the sorrows tell
Their twisting tales of treachery:
And the sterile hill, the stagnant lake.
We have stood and watched –
Careless lovers, their arms entwinted;
Shattered piers – half-broken supports
Dashed by the waves and the heat of the sun;
Adam reaching out for the Fruit of the Tree;
The murderer's hands, dripping with blood;
Preachers in prayer, one eye on the clouds;
Moonlight shining through the roof of the summerhouse.

As if Arthur sleeps beneath the hill
In his enemy's warm embrace.
As if Joseph came here to rest,
Under the shade of the Ash.
As if the Merlin's pupil gave birth
On the floor of the cave.
As if the Labyrinth was once more opened
With the smell of guilt, sweet and cloying,
And the ghosts of the forest, pale and glimmering.

Thus drag me down beneath the golden moon:
Two strange children grasping the ear of the corn.
Link wrist with wrist, eye with eye
Half a century away from plough and horse.
Muttering and murmuring like toothless women
The rocks looked oddly on
As if the waves below the cliff were angry with us;
Charged us with an unknown law.

Long gone those days we gave birth to pleasure,
Soft skin shadowed into autumnal cloud.
We waited for hesitation, but there was none.
There was awareness on those lips which
Had tasted the wine of the apple.
Also a fear we tried to keep buried.

The dark enchanter was our friend,
In fantasy or faith, making our harvest rich.
Did we sin, or did we live like Gods
In deathless innocence?
Nor did we see the shepherd-farmer
Until it was too late to flee
The security of the summerhouse
For the openness of the forest.

And, later still, we stole from ourselves
Sleep; sentenced ourselves to the slow death.
Now sterile the hill, and stagnant the lake,
And the summerhouse quiet from sighs.