Annotating Heaven

Annotating Heaven

(After Antonino)


Back to back
on the threshold after
a night of arguing the toss,
they deserve each other,
quail and peacock:
which more greatly glorifies God?


I believe that heaven
is paved with majolica,
that on its shelf
rests a copper pot, perfectly tuned,
that its lion strolls
forgiving, peaceable.


Green, grey and ochre,
the cracked stucco
of the old laundry walls heaven;
Paula, Jerome: you
patrol the dormitories of angels,
the sleep of angels.


In heaven the trees exhale
the breath of God;
the moon sees home
the drunk man, alike consoles
the nail-maker
and the maker of psalms.


I greet my father
on my own doorstep.
Late back from among
the terraced dead of Fox Covert,
his bike against the sill,
he eats at my table.


And whose voices are those
all day fluttering
behind the chimney-breast,
now and then syllables
scraping the brick:
cockchafers’ or angels’?