Nox Oculis

Neil Rollinson (1960- )

Neil Rollinson est né dans le Yorkshire (Angleterre) en 1960. Son premier recueil de poèmes fut publié en 1996. Il remporta la compétition nationale de poésie en 1998 avec son poème "Constellations".


    Beyond the house, where the woods
    dwindle to a few stray trees, my father
    walks on the lake with a hammer.

    He’s never seen so many stars,
    and wonders why
    with all that light in the sky

    it doesn’t cast a single shadow.
    He takes a few blows at the ice, and drops
    a sackful of bricks

    and kittens into the hole, listens
    a moment to the stillness of deep winter,
    the hugeness of the sky, the bubbles of warm

    oxygen breaking under his feet,
    like the fizz in a lemonade; the creaking
    of ice as it settles itself.

    His father’s at home, coaxing voices
    out of a crystal set, a concert from London.
    Ghosts in a stone.

    My father doesn’t like that, he prefers
    the magic of landscapes, of icicles
    growing like fangs from the gutters of houses,

    the map of the constellations. He turns on the bank
    and looks at the sky. Orion rising over Bradford,
    Cassiopeia’s bold W, asking Who, What, When

    and Why ? And down in the lake, the sudden
    star-burst of four kittens under a lid of ice,
    heading to the four corners of nowhere.

    Neil Rollinson, A Spillage of Mercury (1996)


    Your coffee grows cold on the kitchen table
    which means the universe is dying.
    Your dress on the carpet is just a dress,
    it has lost all sense of you now.
    I open the window, the sky is dark
    and the house is also cooling, the garden,
    the summer lawn, all of it finding an equilibrium.
    I watch an ice-cube melt in my wine,
    the heat of the Chardonnay passing into the ice.
    It means the universe is dying: the second law
    of thermodynamics. Entropy rising.
    Only the fridge struggles to turn things round
    but even here there's a hidden loss.
    It hums in the corner, the only sound
    on a quiet night. Outside, in the vast sky
    stars are cooling. I think of the sun
    consuming its fuel, the afternoon that is past,
    and your dress that only this morning
    was warm to my touch.

    Neil Rollinson, A Spillage of Mercury (1996)

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