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Two Poems

What John Donne Would Say

Nowhere to purchase and nothing to defend, 
nothing but malls as thin as morning dew
unrolling each morning each roller door anew
and burned by the glory of Commerce without End.
For a while we had thought the world was on the mend,
that to slobber for mere things was to be untrue,
that everybody need only some tailor-made You
towards which love and light would bend.

But a story like that could become an enemy.
A lens in darkest perspex follows me.
There are only malls. There is only an unseen eye.
There are sales and discounts but nothing is really free.

The gardener hoses the car park. Day looms fine.
There go those crazy security shutters again.

What Wallace Stevens Would Say

He found at last a way of sounding sea:
fathoms of plumb-lines twanged and twined him home,

and Christ the Diver kissed serenest oxygen
to his blue lips. Sinking, he dreamed of clouds.

All useless was the decompression table
that calibrated atmospheres, back when he had needed

only a grasp of lightness, only a mountain 
swaying under seaweed or snowy with pines:

his world turned lustrous now with self-completion.
The deeper he drifted the more soft-edged

each atom, the more his thinking quivered and was right.
The currents headed all of a direction,

to a thought like the world, to its thick inexactnesses.
There was only the ocean, and then no ocean, not even its word.

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