These Great Sentinels

These great sentinels
have been here so much longer than you,
bare as January, January bees,
bare as rain or boats of commerce snarled
on the highly trafficked waterway,
as the bowsprit of the Dutch fishing pink
(one of many curious boats)
or the Malay rigging of the Bombay yacht
(another one of many curious boats)
and the lights along the turrets of the cliffs
along the harbor basin shined.
And Mrs. Hannah Glass set her cliffside house
in order. It was a house of glass.
And out above the water burst
the Roman candles of July,
the apple-green meister-singers,
the long fire of an open secret, aquatic trees,
and the cerulean brothers of Jupiter, of love.
And these great sentinels have torn
a page of strange remembrancy
from your endless calendar
to let the cool wind charm you
(the cool wind of July—for a fragrance
of jasmine drifted over from the palace, from the forest).
For each season has its delights,
as each key unlocks a door—but the key
does not tell you which door it opens,
nor in which building you will find it.
Geoffrey Nutter


Geoffrey Nutter

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