by James McAuley

James McAuley

At sixteen, was it, I used to take
Soundings in my inadequacy.
Could I have visions, like William Blake?
Or that strange Irishman AE?
At dusk I lingered in the yard
After the fowls had gone to roost,
Pressing my five senses hard
For revelation self-induced.
But all I saw was the light fail
And grass glowing intenser green.
Mosquitoes sounded a warning wail
Past my ear. What did it mean?
The pine-tree, as the stars came out,
Loomed a black monitor, cut in stone.
I stood resisting my self-doubt,
And never felt so much alone.

Collected Poems 1936-1970

Last updated January 14, 2019