The Man Who Saw Summer (For Ray Bradbury)

The Man Who Saw (For Ray Bradbury)
 
While all around him sat inside
Locked houses with their screens,
He walked,
Looked, observed and understood,
Smelt flowers, spoke their smell
With words no-one had ever heard;
Their smell emerging from the page
Bubbled and sprang, where all
The pictures on the roof-high walls
Could only flicker and then fade.
 
At times, summer bounced forth from his words,
Aloft and adazzle with colour of life;
And when he spoke darkness, it sizzled
With the truth of deep heart-fear;
If he spoke too gravely, the time and its idols
Gave weight to his speech. When he gathered
His prophets in the cave to join his voice
In the chorus of true words,
Their surroundings sang and lifted
Us somewhere further than a grave.
 
If, at times, he saw too much grey
When there was white; if he spoke
Only half the way to the truth,
We pause and know him as but a speaker,
Not the speech. If he knows now of summer
Which is never farewelled, if now he sees
The light which sometimes blinded,
Then his speech is made complete.
Though it is not, can never be, all.
 
But for his sight, and for his words,
And for his dreams of summer in flight,
We, in our walls of glass and screens,
Are grateful. And so we dance with Clarisse,
And rage with Guy against the fire,
Walk with Leonard the silent streets
And pray, in hearts, the words which dream
Of days when streets are full to brimming
With life set free from walls torn down
And sight made holy, eyes made whole,
 
And all our dreams of summer full.

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