Archive for February, 2010


Orpheus On Guitar

February 26, 2010

You play my strings like I am
an instrument for you, I
sing out your rhythm at your will –
touch again my A string, my G string,
bend me again to your melody.

Your fingers pull a pattern out of wood and steel,
and I , the stones, the trees,
I am it all as it bends to you,
I am nothing but the sighing wind that
fills your lungs
in the lead up to the bridge.

I explode forth
as the pieces of your poetry and I
fade away in your silence ‘til you
sing again. Great poet: I am your melody.

Written 25 Nov 08 – ER


On Being Known

February 1, 2010

Do you ever think that maybe
the people who have always known you,
know too much of who you used to be
to let you be fully
who you are?

That maybe there comes a time
when all the cells of your body have
changed and renewed – not just once but many times,
and you are no longer the pink, writhing thing
that emerged screaming into the world, and you are no longer
the quiet, sullen thing with pigtails and a bookbag and her
head down at the back of the classroom, and you are no longer the
skinny, awkward thing in various uniforms, with a vague sense of self and
an indulgent misery, and you are no longer a string of misdeeds and mistakes and
low self-esteem – But now you find,
in new cells, new life – in organs born of old ones
new self, a changing definition.

And that this self, this singular entity, belonging
entirely to this moment, can be drawn back
to old definitions by the people who wrote them, can
find it easier in the company of old faces to be
the face they used to see, rather than the one that
whispers now for expression.

That in the company of strangers the heart feels hollow, unknown – but
in the company of family the heart feels too known,
choked by knowing, hemmed in by the old knowing,
restricted to old boundaries, memories
long past their use-by date.

That somehow from the fire of old things the new is
testing wings, that
in the cutting of apron strings the
new soul flails about in search of
somewhere new to moor itself, before realising it is
steady alone, needing no propping post to hold it afloat, but
balanced of its own accord. And that the unknown sea ahead is
at least one’s own unknown, waiting
for a self that is self-defined, and
redefined each moment, rather
than the shelter of a bay in which the self is held
by all the other times it has sheltered there in
cold weather and in wondering.

Maybe to be truly known
we must be known to be transient, fluctuating – Give me the one who will
hold a space for me in his heart which
fits whatever shape I decide to be today, not one
who will accept my square days and not my circles. Give me the one
who floats on the wind as I do,
that maybe some days our winds will coincide and we can fly together and
maybe some days our winds will part and we will
fly alone. Give me the one
who will love the potential space I fill, and not expect me to be
in one corner when I feel like being in the middle, who will love me on my
half days and my three-quarter days and the days when I expand beyond it. Give me the one
who explores fully his own spaces and asks not of me to
define which part of it he should dwell in.

Let us dwell in whatever part of life has place for us in each moment, not asking
that today define tomorrow, or demanding that we
be later what we are now, or be now what we were in photographs or
times on distant shores. Let us define ourselves in
this moment’s grammar, though it
be a foreign language to the moment before.

Let us be all the people we are, not holding out
for the ones we should have been or were. Let our edges
be ill-defined, like gas floating through a world demanding solids, being
today oxygen and tomorrow helium and never giving in to the
staid safety of steel.

Written 12 Nov 08 – ER