I first saw it inland,
Suddenly, round white sides
Rose through the thin grass
And for an instant, in the heat,
It was dazzling; but afterwards
I thought mainly of darkness,
Imagining the relics of an original
Sea under the chalk, with fishes
Beneath the fields. Later,
Everywhere upon its surface
I saw the life of the dead;
Circle within circle of earthen
Shells, and in retraced curves
Like finger marks in pale sand.
The print of a primaeval lover,
Once, climbing a dusty track,
I found a sunshaped urchin,
With the sun’s rays, white
With the dust of the moon.
Fetish, flesh become stone.
I keep it near me. It is
A mouth on darkness, the one
Inexhaustible source of re-creation.
A poem written about a chalk landscape