Evidence in the Garden by Richard Outram

Richard Outram (April 9, 1930–January 21, 2005)

Encore Literary Magazine is extremely proud to have permission from the executors of the estate of the late Richard Outram to present work by one of Canada’s great poets. Poems by Outram will continue to be featured here, thus helping to keep alive the singular voice of, in the words of Alberto Manguel, “one of the finest poets in the English language.”

Evidence in the Garden

While the beast is gentled,
Adam, randy man,
Slip into her traces
Where you can;

Leave her sleeping body,
Silvered in the stream
Where she has been savaged,
Dark with dream;

Leave the moon-flecked leopard
Tangled in the tree
Gleamed above her, keeping
What must be,

Until the sun is risen
And the trampled field
Of husbandry and bloodstain
Is revealed:

Then innocent of morning,
The fallen light unfurled,
Slip into the fallow
Habitable world.