It is not the way the low light
lies like windowpanes
across the grass, nor how
it etches into the bark
of the ancient willows,
nor how it confuses their high,
half-shaded leaves.
It is not the faint smell
of manure, a scent that has not
made its way here all summer,
nor even the calm of a river
not yet turned pink,
nor mauve.

These things do not say
come lie yourself down
on the whole world.
They do not say to the part
of you that rises, even
as you keep to your chair,
come, lie down on all the flat
surfaces, on all the upward
stretching, arching ones,
lie down forever
and be held.

These things are not—
no things are—the message.
These things are here,
the message comes.

appears in Liasons II: The R.D. Lawrence Commemorative Anthology