Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Moon Speaks

This is my response to the latest Random Acts of Poetry at High Callings Blog
It's an exercise in taking on another voice, so I am speaking as the Moon.


Moved by the rhythms of my bondage
I twist my face away
Lest you see my frozen tears
Forbidden in waterless wilderness.

Can I sulk across the sky?

The stars do not speak to me
In alien cold glory,
For I lie too close to earth:
The glorious seductress
In dazzling shades of life.

First I look, then turn away.

Yet while I dance my great ambivalence,
There is one from whom my face can never turn,
Glory bright and constant
Whose wonder holds me fast;
Beauty that enthrals me through the singing years.

This I must worship,
Offering my humble rock to light.

They tell me that I shine.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Loving on ..

Because, in this world, it sometimes hurts to love ..

I have loved you without hope in my mouth
While the cold winds tears the last remaining leaves
And the skies grow drearer;
While the small things scuttle from me
And misery, flat on a stretcher,
Rides in to take the town –
I have loved you.

I have loved you when reason metamorphosed
And played strange tricks on my heart;
When the shape of things was changed,
And I learned new words for sorrow;
When Night kissed my lips and I had no aching answer.
When blackbirds perched on skeleton trees
Commanding the songs of Zion
In a death-mask jester’s voice –
I have loved you.

I have loved you when the crowds spun bitter laughter
In a noose to ambush you, and I could not, could not reach ..
Beating my fists against perspex impossibilities:
The dull, transparent wall flavoured with damnation,
And nowhere left to go.
When the stinging rain beat down,
And my beauty was bedraggled
To a sodden lump of ugly truth –
I have loved you.

I have loved you when poetry reverts to prose
And our prayers are a litany of scrubbing,
Kneeling on cold stone, ridiculously tender of the dandelions.
Mercy in mourners’ weeds goes by,
And barbarians beat at the gates.
There is no laughter then,
But a small bird singing
Its elevated anthems
In the shade of the last curled leaf –
Still I have loved you.

I have loved you in the land of unpossession
Where our empty hands are scarred,
Where the leaving is the holding, and the trust stays unbetrayed.
Here, where there are no rainbows,
And the garbage must be swept;
Where the temples are all empty,
And the idols overturned..
There I have loved you.

In the beloved country,
Where tears become our balm
And beauty is unassailable,
Heart never hid from heart –
I shall love you still.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Learning to say no

I have left the borders unguarded
Till my heart became a wasteland
Pitiful, pathetic,
The harvest of my hope.

Long the marauders played ,,

I had bound my own hands
In desperate obedience.
Silenced my screams,
While anger turned to guilt:
It was sin to own a dragon.

And the streams flow caustic tears ..

Now I hunger no indulgence
Limp-sitting in the shade,
Ears tight against cajolement.
Like Ulysses at the mast
Seeking another country
Where my bones can grow to stone.

I shall invite the dragon ..

Learning a different wisdom
Not the mother-tongue of shame.
The terrible risk of strength
Armed with adulthood.
I shall refuse the pirates
With their petty tales.
I am no spoiled garden.

I am guarded place.