Anthony Lawrence, ‘Vision’


Whenever a nervous animal feels compelled
to put its eye to the scoping-glass of a waterball
and finds, in that overview, river gums softened
by charcoal rubbings of shade, or a dust cloud

on a back road shooters use, elsewhere
other animals will be tilting waxen leaves
to release a cool displacement of mirror work
all concentration gone on swallowing, on need.

For myself, having seen this in miniature
and panorama, though not from some desire
to conjure and appropriate wallaby vision
or the singular looks corellas give each other

at the height of a mating season, I prefer
my views to be aired internally while sipping
from a rough-cut glass, the water filtered
and imbued with a pure, not blended

highland spirit, once barreled in oak
to luxuriate where, as any visionary worth
the length and duration of their gaze will confirm
the spells darkness and tradition have begun

are completed and given free range
to redefine, not change, what a bird or animal
might see, before and after taking the edge
from a nervous disposition, or thirst.

from  The Welfare of My Enemy   by Anthony Lawrence

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