Poetry Shelf connections: Marty Smith’s ‘My lights, for Paul’ with poem and audio

 

My lights, for Paul

April 8, 2020

 

All summer long I go on

till every gap is gone,

winding and twisting

wires of lights,

higher and higher

 

I’m not worrying, I’m looking up

breathless

 

making more and more:

red bobbles on a plastic buoy

blue glass balls on a round ball valve

a warm white pyramid, tipped with gold

changing colours

on fluorescent globes

 

I covered it all in lights

right up to the top spike

of the monkey puzzle,

twenty foot high, dazzling out

in black space beside

 

a five-by-five foot glowing ball

of cats’ eyes, shining greenly

into the velvet dark

and in behind, the port lights

on the estuary

 

and still my wish is not bright enough

Paul is struggling to stand

 

the moon, strangely yellow too,

stops to pose above my lights,

pooling moonlight onto the sea

 

it’s all set up in front of the seat

where Paul can sit

and smoke and see them glow

 

the tiny red tips on the sea glass globe

are fading now, tail lights going away

 

Paul says he’s here to play pool,

not look at my lights

 

he sits smoking and staring at them

shining out of the softest night

 

he says,

I’d like to see them go in a line down the lawn

and into infinity

 

Marty Smith

 

 

Paul-DSCF9310 copy

Photo credit: Florence Charvin

 

 

 

 

Marty reads ‘My lights, for Paul’

 

 

Poet Marty Smith is in lockdown in Hawkes Bay. She plays pool every Friday night (not now) with Paul and a small hard core group. When the competition begins again, it will be renamed as the Davis Cup. For Paul Davis, the best pool player of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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