The Door

Too little
has been said
of the door, its one
face turned to the night’s
downpour and its other
to the shift and glisten of firelight.

Air, clasped
by this cover
into the room’s book,
is filled by the turning
pages of dark and fire
as the wind shoulders the panels, or unsteadies that burning.

Not only
the storm’s
breakwater, but the sudden
frontier to our concurrences, appearances,
and as full of the offer of space
as the view through a cromlech is.

For doors
are both frame and monument
to our spent time,
and too little
has been said
of our coming through and leaving by them.

from Selected Poems 1955-97 (OUP, 1997), Charles Tomlinson


Though I have explored philosophy

as well as medicine and law,

applied my efforts to theology,

yet I stand, a foolish bore,

no wiser than I was before

with neither property nor fame.

I am a man without a name.

A dog would not accept this role,

so to magic I will devote my soul.