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Andy Nicholson

Andy Nicholson

To                                                                      After Dante’s “Stone Sestina”

To circle light in that shade-circle,
I climb white hills. Light climbs such growth
in grass, climbs that green, that white,
climbs through hard stone.

Lady: frozen like snow lies. Still-Lady:
like snow covered by shade. Seasons warm
white hills, but never white to green.

Green grasses, wrapped as a crown
of grass, as there is no other lady.
This is why:
love is a green crown. No, love
is a shade of other.

What is this blossom,
this life-of-the-hill, Lady-green?
Stone’s shade is more precious than stone.

I run to refuge,
rather than look at the sun.
I need refuge, to shade me
from that sun that rolls through
night as day. Green branches

need shade,
Lady-who-wakes-stones,
Lady-who-speaks-fields.

Lie, Lady;
in a field, lie down.
Grass: whiten.
Stone: shade.
Lady:

green hills turn back rivers.
Lady: green rivers turn back with fever.
What burns is sleep.
What turns into sleep and stone
burns prior sleep, is first a hill’s breath.

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