Saturday, 1 June 2013

Poems As Leaves On A Stream

Poems can be likened to leaves borne by a stream, held in the surface tension, spinning in the current's rush. Poems can be likened to the onrush of faces of a crowd crossing a city's bridge, each intent on their own destiny and the desire to retain their own identity. Beneath them all time flows on impassive and inexorable, perhaps gathering for a moment in an eddy of purpose before hurtling ever onward. Poems can be magnificent, courageous, eager for attention, yet slippery as eels to hold on to. Poems can whisper, sing in high or low voices, cry out from the depths, or simply state their names and be gone. Poems can be likened to dust settling mote by mote, gathering vapours or a shift of temperature felt as the sun breaks through the clouds.

Poems have no soundshape until spoken; liberated from the holding place, liberated from the word, liberated letter by letter. Poems have no colour or taste until picked up by the eye or placed on the tongue. Even then they need to dwell in the mind some, be picked up, put down, teased, prodded and pricked. Poems need to wander in the mind of the perceiver, meandering here and there, attaching themselves to shards of memory stored in cells, bone, tissue and the ebb and flow of blood.  Poems come alive in the weary limbs of the walker rising on the hill, the stillness of a fisherman waiting for a bite, or the shift of light at the beginning or the end of day. When their time has come and gone, where then do poems go?

Last night it rained in torrents
Still the clouds linger on,
Reluctant to leave the earth.

These hands carry memory,
As words try to express
The unfolding essence of heart-
The cry of a crow at dawn.

First born light
Falling soft to the earth-
Colour emerging within form.

Chronicles of the moment
Slices of time and experience

Sound shapes bearing colours
The heart desiring to be known

Open spaces finger breaths
Moving unhindered into One.

A kestrel hovering
Over a summer hedgerow -
Verge grasses pulsing
In the flow of passing traffic.

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