I know that when the words are clear and bright

nothing else is, as the milk of street lamps

dims out the stars, but I can only keep echoing my own footsteps

longing for brightness, for streets lit by the stars alone, dark and shining.

I want to learn the language of these trees that line my streets, dreaming upright

all through the dark till light wakes in them and crows slowly

make their own blacks out from the dawn. But the words of trees

are so large we cannot hear them. I want to make them out

from the hungry waking-up of the crows

in the dawn coming from the bay, like a song

of the light itself. I’m stranded in our dream of learning ceaseless

ripple-waves of language I cannot quite but always almost

can make out the words of. Words care-fully,

like marsh waders in silvery after-dawn light as the tide comes in

meandering to shore, picking their way towards us.