the wind in the curtains tells the future

I open the windows and let the morning in,
The music is Bach, unaccompanied violin.

The sun's up, the same unruly Sunne
unwelcomed by the languorous John Donne

flaccid after too much love or sex.
His pigeons' kin say Yes with all their necks

still not smart enough to say or show
when they mean No.

The sun comes early here and stays late.
Just after nine at night, the night must wait

as Christ Church summons with bells her hundred and one.
That ghostly roll call occupies the sun

while the college clocks bicker toward ten.
Even England is tired of sun by then

and glad to watch the last light ratchet down
all over town.

Atop this house, my two rooms make an aerie,
a teacher's nest, a writer's solitary.
The curtains whip in air both brisk and sunny.
I make the tea and sweeten the day with honey.

Here, messages abound: in the sostenuto
of Merton's bells, the Italian choir on radio.
The wind in the curtains tells the future and more
but in semaphore.
The whole world's a code I have not broken.
Because she cannot speak, she has not spoken
except in tones for which there is no tongue
except I sing the music she might have sung.
Now, at the end of century number twenty,
so many have plenty of nothing, I nothing of plenty.
Midway through my fifty-seventh year
she is not here.

John Stone, 5 am, sleepless in merton street

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