Counterpoint by Katharine Towers


by Katharine Towers

If you and I could talk like this – your basso
to my tricksy lilt –
we might invent a nicer line in argument.

It turns on centre of gravity: how the steady
left hand keeps the right from losing touch,
how the right must speedily elaborate

or qualify these stately declarations.
A mote of consonance might make an ending
we could set our sights on: my tune tangled

sweetly into yours as we pick our way
to the final, staggered chord. But you’re still descending
as I climb up the bars, scrambling over flats and sharps.

We’ll settle, then, for this ill-tempered truce:
you still banging away at the deep end,
me somewhere up in the gods, trying the high notes.

Katharine Towerspoem ‘Counterpoint’ published by NCLA for Saying the World.

This poem appeared on the main NCLA website on 18th November 2010.

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Katharine Towers on the Picador website.

Saying the World festival on the main NCLA website.