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Lay for the Day
20th October

1854: the poet Arthur Rimbaud is born in Charleville in the Ardennes.

Two Tigers by the Sea

At least we were safe there
And kept warm in winter
But there’s no going home now.

The sea forms in long black lips –
Winter’s dog on our heels —
While we pad this grey beach

Bright as descended stars
Watching the shore birds
Flock from the night

And fly south. This is a cold
Island, and small as a birdcage.
Impossible to move silently

Over the sharp ice in gardens.
Tigers are hardly indigenous
And the scent of sapphires that comes

On warm winds is untenable.
I have seen something when I raise
The wide world of one foot

That I cannot say.
I have seen it falling among the leaves
Of the holy forest.

John Gibbens
from Intimations

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar