The Moment (extract) by Kathleen Raine
“Never, never again this moment, never
These slow ripples across smooth water,
Never again these clouds white and grey
In sky sharp crystalline blue as the tern’s cry
Still in light air salt from the ocean
Sweet from flowers.
The sun that rises upon one earth
Sets on another, swiftly the flowers
Are waxing and waning, the tall yellow iris
Unfold its corolla as primroses wither,
Scrolls of fern unroll and midges
Dance for an hour in the evening air,
The brown moth from its pupa emerges
And the lark’s bones fall apart in the grass.
The sun that rose from the sea this morning
Will never return, for the broadcast light
That brightens the leaves and glances on water
Will travel tonight on its long journey
Out of the universe,
Never this sun, this world, and never again this watcher.