Louis MacNeice

Sand in the Air

Books, do not look at me,
   Clock, do not stare;
The fire’s ashes fidget,
   There is sand in the air;
Drums tell its coming -
   The sandstorm that blows
From the desert of darkness -
   O in the desert of darkness
       Where is she walking?

Otherwise regular
   Quickening their beat
The marchers of madness
   Pick up their feet,
Make for my table
   And the empty chair
That faces me — Where,
   Where and why is she absent
       Leaving it empty?

Dial her number,
   None will reply;
In the shrivelled world
   There is only I;
Her voice is frozen,
   Hangs in my brain
On the crags of memory - 
   O my dear, go away
       From the crags of memory.