A rooftop garden,

Of all things you would not expect to find
Above these sunless wards,
The failings of the body and the mind.
Offering its unconditional pardon,
Water records

Itself and light
In rippling interwoven patterns, fed
From some recurrent source,
And runs a copy off on the channel bed,
Which birch leaves and their shadows in a slight
Cross-breeze endorse.

Reflexions teem
Over the whiffled surface through a pond,
And bend and almost shatter,
Some nodding blooms, clouds wandering beyond
The edge, and trailing foliage, a stream
Of unfolding matter.

And figures too
Of those from lower storeys, who must feel
Sunstruck astonishment
To be up here, unwalled again and real.
Can these bones live? What ravelling process grew
This accident

Of tissue in
The skull, with which they know themselves today?
Must matter simply fit
Together, maybe, in a certain way,
And mind emerges? There is the origin
And end of it?

What do they care,
Watching the puzzle of the native grasses
Broadcast to the sky,
Where not much happens and what does soon passes,
Sitting their rationed hour, breathing the air
They are freshened by,

While all of this
Unfolds behind their eyes, emergent from
These rooftop elements,
Light, shadow, leaf, the fluent idiom
Of water, and their metamorphosis,
Alive to sense.

Read more poems by Stephen Edgar here and here, and read an interview with the poet.

Photograph by Wander Fleur