Waking In A Strange Room

It’s as if a dome of glass were perched
above the city, and high up there
the swifts were searching for an exit,
their cries defining the fixity of space –

the way that slab of morning sunlight
on the floor defines the heat outdoors,
while through the window red geraniums
and terracotta roofs are making statements

about density and weight, a metal disc
is communicating with the nearest star
and a linden tree sends waves of scent
through a hundred feet of air;

though hours ago that tree was just a patch
of night, those houses shoeboxes set on end
and furnished by a child, with matchboxes
for tables, cotton reels for chairs.

(from Birth of the Owl Butterflies, Picador, 1997)