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In memory of Burhan Tufail



You were walking across a field of grasses
in a white dress, long and wide, in an antique style.
It was the height of summer and the middle of the day.
The flowering heads on the grass were beginning to bend
and their colours seemed not to belong to them
but to move in the air just above.
Bronze and green, violet, silver and red – these were not their names
but the names of colours beside them.
So delicate as to be almost illusion,
yet they were colours of metals and gems.
You were lost in their enjoyment, without a direction to go,
your hem sweeping the stalks
where they were fresh and green near the ground.
Though you could not have belonged to me, your presence
made my thoughts of you coloured as the air was by the grass in flower.

John Gibbens

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