A world in servitude to time

Since you liked last week's so much, here's another RS Thomas poem, written on the death of his wife. His complete works are about 500 pages worth, so there's plenty more where these came from. I like the brevity of this one, its breathless sadness and simplicity. Like the immortalities of love and life, it's gone before you can catch it.

We met
under a shower
of bird-notes.
Fifty years passed
love's moment
in a world in
servitude to time.
She was young;
I kissed with my eyes
closed and opened
them on her wrinkles.
“Come,” said death,
choosing her as his
partner for the last dance. And she,
who in life
had done everything
with a bird's grace,
opened her bill now
for the shedding
of one sigh no
heavier than a feather.

Such music as lives still

I don't know much about RS Thomas, except that he was a Welsh poet and priest with a reputation for loneliness. A streak of love lightens his otherwise bleak and unyielding lyrics, and though in a line of descent from other poet-priests, there's much in his verse to distinguish him from the tradition of Hopkins and Herbert.  He's grim almost to the point of misanthropy, and sacramental without being particularly joyous.  There's beauty, though, and thought, and, in Herbert's phrase, something understood. He was born in 1913, and died on September 25, 2000. I like the conceit of this poem better than its execution, but it's still a fine poem to remember him by. It's called “The Musician.” 
A memory of Kreisler once:
At some recital in this same city,
The seats all taken, I found myself pushed
On to the stage with a few others,
So near that I could see the toil
Of his face muscles, a pulse like a moth
Fluttering under the fine skin,
And the indelible veins of his smooth brow.
I could see, too, the twitching of the fingers,
Caught temporarily in art's neurosis,
As we sat there or warmly applauded
This player who so beautifully suffered
For each of us upon his instrument.
So it must have been on Calvary
In the fiercer light of the thorns' halo:
The men standing by and that one figure,
The hands bleeding, the mind bruised but calm,
Making such music as lives still.
And no one daring to interrupt
Because it was himself that he played
And closer than all of them the God listened.