Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

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Laudanum

May 2, 2010

It starts with “laud” –
to praise, revere
(and sounds like “lord”)
– and ends with a num-ness,
a lack of feeling, an absence
of even a tingling at the lips
or fear

a common first choice
of last resort, it seems,
for so many quiet women then –
tired of life under lord,
unlauded,
numb.

In this day and age,
we find other ways
– with names like Paroxetine,
Weight Watchers,
career –
and don’t even know we’re trying to fill
the lack of simple
laud-
          -a-
              -num.

Written 2 May 2010 – ER

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Ocean Song

April 25, 2010

This is the freest you’ll ever be
right now in this foxton ocean
you are the fire in the sky
you are the salt in the sand
you are the gravity that holds you
and the wind that sets you free
you are the waves that live and die for you
you are the height of every crest
and the deepest depths that follow
you are the ocean as it aches for you
carries you, fills you, takes you
you are the ocean, wind and stars
you are the ocean
you will never be so free
you have always been this free
you are the sea.

* * *

Moulin noir
you are held by tea and mismatched socks
on this couch
come what may
you are still the sea
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind…

* * *

This is the alivest you’ll ever be
here in this freezing foxton ocean
you are the sea that burns you, chills you,
fills your every pore and
the spaces between electrons
you are the sea that crashes into
your body like a wall
that consumes you.
Your body is defined only
by the absence of sea
you are the space where the
sea is not, and yet
you are this freezing ocean
as it slams into the lack of you,
all of you
you are the wind that lifts you
upon the wave that
is you
you are freezing, shivering, awake
you have never been so alive
you have always been this alive
you are the sea.

* * *

I hope you don’t mind
fresh warm water sheds
salt from skin but
face upturned
you are still the sea

come what may…

Written 23 January 2010 – ER

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Beethoven

March 6, 2010

The ringing in his ears
made it hard to hear the music.
I know the feeling.

Written 07 March 2010 – ER

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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

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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

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Dissection (Ode to Andreas)

March 30, 2009

If we were just the
sum of our parts
I would not stand here
peeling back your skin
to learn your faded mysteries,
the mechanisms of human misery and joy
reduced to physics and chemistry and tables,
as if origins
and attachments
were black and white
and not the eternal question that propels us.

Layer for layer
I see the patterns of my self
in your inner workings yet
I am alive and
you are not.
What invisible piece
beats the rhythm in my chest
that you lack?
If I found it in you I could
put it in a table
and we would all be
explained.

 

Written 13 March 08 – ER