Issue 2 – Summer 2002 – Maurice Scully

Maurice Scully


Two Pages from Adherence

goes the machine down
through the steel chute
the black diagonal shadows
marking a regular pattern pacing
the controlled descent with a whirr
and a click as – down – close your eyes –
pip goes a car in the street far – as may be –
away pip-pip in response meaning: The World
is all that is in phase – meaning: – down –
The eare is a rational sence – down – and
certain – meaning: a chiefe judge of proporcioun


adding (down) leaning to the law that
each thing its number its place
between the/because of the shadows
interlocked and separated figures
things missing or things wedged side-
ways that remind us that all orders
have their justification in the end in
an order of orders only our faith as
we work, addresses – oh! –
slows down and stops to lock level with a
click: door-grid slides back …

    Dust rising from the track
    where the dance started
    in the heat, concentrating each
    tap on the tympanum,
    travelling elsewhere how
    shadowbits, lightsplashes –
    pick an apple from a tree –
    a door, a desk, a window,
    a crude thing for anyone
    to hide in over the years
                  maybe …


The thing about understanding is. (Ah).
Not a machine of measurement. Not:
a flower. If, hemmed in. The core
body is the shouting in the street?
Fruit a spherical berry, scarlet.
Streetlights spear the pool. It
would appear. A pollen sequence can
take you back fast and yare. Clearly.
The thing about poetry is

    or it might not quite
    be what you said is what
    the map you said you had
    set out to say – aim straight,
    fire wild – you thought I was
    (and I was you) blunt, stark,
    mysterious. What?
    The rough but ready
    states yes your steady
    hands made of contact
    sweetness, white traces
    in snow-charred crystals
    as secrets, geodes.
    Let the leading shoot
    be the landing place:

    poor, human, stung.

    It is the end of June.
    Swallows and a grey sky.
    Are we entitled. To the
    ripple where the stone drops.
    This is the ripe cone
    after the seed is shed.
    The ash, the feathery
    leaf-light shadow and half-
    shadow mind-breath, sacred.
    It could be the beginning
    of September or maybe
    the middle of March I’m
    in the tropics suddenly
    inside the arctic circle not
    dizzy but waiting to bloom …

          The leading shoot
                is the land-
                  ing place.

(from Priority)
Liking the Big Wheelbarrow

We sat on the side of a mountain and muttered
something about the Basotho. We were dissatisfied.
We were given a part of something to understand,
our self-esteem under attack, daily nibblings
at the plinth. Fixing bridges, developing struts.
Wait. The instruction was to wait. Be still.

Dust particles collide and bounce away, collide
again elsewhere and stick until the thicker
filamentary delicate medium sinks to the central
plane of the disc which breaks into rings which
clump and accrete which orbit the core which spark
the beginning of the accretion of the solid cores
of the planets we know, from webs and threads
on magnetic bands. In theory. Only the quietest
collisions. Clusters. Crystals and dust grains.
The four year-old child who said to the pilot
on their way to the plane on the air ferry tarmac
“I like your big wheelbarrow.



Maurice Scully born Dublin 1952. Books include 5 Freedoms of MovementThe Basic ColoursSteps & Mouthpuller (a CD). Livelihood, a long work in 5 books, is due from Wild Honey Press this year. The first in a series of critical essays edited by Scully was published by his Coelacanth Press this spring.