Portraits and Repetition
Stephen Ratcliffe


blue plane of water in motion below line of horizon, (angle)
at which the fainter planet moves directly into the light

relationship between the visible shape of swells approaching
from the southwest corner of the window, two clouds (one)

(calculation) of fact, meaning of the first person’s gesture
toward color of the body coiled in the middle of the road

piano adjacent to the opposite window not played (therefore)
silence, punctuated at regular intervals by clock in hall

actual dog in the next room imagined in terms of one driving
(another) in car, grasses bending against same blue plane



profile of cypress branch (abstracted) extended horizontally
into left window, frame within which grey water meets sky

which doesn’t (merely) describe it, place where white breaks
above rocks connected to the acoustic image which follows

altitude of certain flowers whose intensity of color changes
in relation to the man who walks into it, hill (opposite)

(dimension) of spelled view, curve of grass against blue sky
through which the clouds continue moving in from the west

lavender behind and adjacent to the viewer whose perspective
is also therefore changed, line (system) clear to horizon



flatness of light in relation to line between opaque (order)
surface of water and the grey of sky it reflects, objects

(here) subject moving through a field of blue flowers, angle
at which the eye perceives it measured in number of steps

dark red poppy on bend of path between orange gate and door,
(technique) by which white milky fluid might be collected

yellow on upper surface of wingspan of the two birds gliding
from behind edge of ridge below this, (not) without sound

echo of shape, white of half moon imagined against the black
of background through which faint light appears (concept)



hummingbird stopping a moment at top edge of middle vertical
window before moving forward, (this) unknown bird’s trill

arrangement of yellow petals on the left corner of the table
(title), which is perceived in relation to color on paper

sound, shape and meaning of words in performance for example
action in terms of what happens somewhere else (calculus)

(picture) of cloud body above line of ridge, position itself
being an event on a surface which can’t otherwise be seen

wind not moving green leaves in the middle distance, sparrow
(a) the difference between thought and the sound it makes



hollow in clouds where the light appears to be moving, (one)
whose presence becomes the inverse between grey and white

place above shoulder (‘x’) which could be what the man feels
scraping against it, sanding the window adjacent to glass

(question) following, how before light the body turning over
becomes conscious of the first invisible bird in the dark

faint breeze in leaves looking up from image of pastel house
above driveway, water color ascending toward blue (count)

(1 + 1) two ducks flapping east toward the line of the ridge
below grey sky, action elsewhere understood as that sound