You hadn’t prepared for Stony Ground,
feeling inclined to a touch of flesh and blood,
vibrant, intense, Incarnadine.
Now you’re rolling out the Night Sky
with its scumble of Pearl,
drowning the deep Sea Blue,
in a muddy skim of Dead Salmon,
a dull neutrality of appeasement
for off-milk folk who might come after,
who spurn contrast and colour,
who can only live with New White,
Old White, or at a push,
You’re moving on, effacing the past,
but you vote for the Miró-esque mural
to remain, on the grounds of history.
‘An old house should resist,’
you say, ‘retain some of its mystery,’
like the World War Two pistol
you found in the rafters of the barn,
and pencilled on the lime-wash walls,
the names and ages of a family harboured,
erased one Mole’s Breath night.
You dip into Pitch Black,
make an arc around the sickle moon,
a life-line for the mother and child,
striking out from the abstract,
crossing its borders,
stretching like an exodus
to the four corners
of your neutral world,
you draw a line that will bleed
through the thin skin of change.