25 APRIL 1992, Page 38


(Divination by Laughter)

The green damselfly is burning, like a wicked copper flame on the water, so intently, you can't quite think what it's name is; for it dazzles all cognition, like the pure idea of sight that a star gives shining witness to in the early hours of the night.

While the lizard's tail's no sooner seen, than, like some fleshy lightning, it squirms off into protective clouds of cross-leaved heath and ling; like a tongue, goes twisting out of sight, too quick for us to tell if its cunning lingual gabble leads to heaven or to hell.

So we're counting on our godhead, three wise monkeys making One, we're enumerating certainties, and minuting the sun; while around us, the whole world goes mad, careering wildly after lizards' tails and burning damselflies, to the measured sound of laughter.

Don Rodgers