It is not with the lyre of someone in love that I go seducing people. The rattle of the leper is what sings in my hands. Jane Kenyon
Monday, November 27, 2006
(Paper Batik MOntage, Entitled "Poetry, The Mirror")
On The Fifth Day......
M I R R O R I N G
"The furies are at home / in the mirror; it is their address. /
Your face approaching ever / so friendly is the white flag /
they ignore. There is no truce / with the furies. A mirror...
is a chalice held out to you in / silent communion, where gaspingly /
you partake of a shifting / identity never your own."
You look at the kaleidoscope,
the pieces of coloured glass
are metaphors and whichever way
the tube of life is shaken,
the mirrors of poetry will rearrange
the shards and make of brokenness
a picture that catches more
than a child's fancy.
Ensconced in a barber's chair
I see in front mirror
my reflection created in the image
of God. This is the law
of physics working. When my gaze
is not on myself, I see in front
and back mirrors, my reflections
creating an image of God.
This then is poetry
where the law of physics
is multiplied infinitely.
Is poetry not the mirror
on the wall I look into
expecting commendation for my snow-
white complexion, receiving instead
disapproval for my stepmother
scowl? I think myself
princess until the cloud
of my apple breath clears
from the mirror and I see
clearly the dwarf I am!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
(Photo Montage, Title "Poetry, The High Praise")
On The Fourth Day...........
"Say, poet, what it is you do.-I praise.
How can you look into the monster's gaze
And accept what has death in it?- I Praise.
But, poet, the annonymous and those
With no name, how do you call on them? - I praise.
What right have you though, in each changed disguise,
In each new mask, to trust your truth? - I praise.
Both calm and violent things know you for theirs,
Both star and storm: How so? Because I praise."
Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Clive Wilmer
I can write His-tory like a news
reporter. In fascimile language, where pronouns
are always black and white, where adjectives
are straitjacketed in columns, where predicates
conspire with full stops to end
Here is a newspaper report:
"Charismatic evangelist attracts stadium
crowds. Street Magician performs signs
and wonders. Usurper to the throne killed
in mediaeval ritual."
Now let me translate that:
"When He preaches, fishes are caught
on the lines of His Words, When He multiplies
fishes, wordlessness preach, His silence
is not a line weighed down
by hook and sinker but a rope
afloat with a life buoy."
"He walks the second mile
on the waters of our disbelief.
He moves mountains in the lever
of a mustard seed."
"He is a hare in a round
world who runs ahead of us
to show the Way and then runs on
so fast that He comes alongside
us, a constant Companion to tortoises."
"In the end which is also
the beginning, He becomes a scare-
crow to frighten away the birds
who steal seeds from ploughed
Yes, I could use prose to tell you
all about God, but poetry takes you,
honoured guest, to the throne room
to celebrate the coronation of your
King! You may not understand the words
of the anthems but your feet will pirouette
to a cadenza that comes from verse
plucking the chords of your heart.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
(Photo Montage, Title "To See Not With The Eye")
S E E I N G
"Poems take a second look at things which we often take
for granted. It leads, almost necessarily, to fresh
permutations of experience, of uncovering, of new
understanding of the old, and the familiar. This in turn
demands the expression of what we have felt and known,
but had no language to give it form and utterance. And
when we find the words it moves and expands our sensibility."
You gave me kestrel eyes and now
I see the horizons beyond the bend
of the globe. I see midnight infinity
with midday clarity. I see the night-
sky and I know which stars
have died because the speed
of my sight is greater than the speed
of light.I see places so far
away that the zodiac seem as near
as the pictures of a travel
guide.I see that last place
in the sky where eclipses are metaphors
because the sun behind the crystal-
ball of my mind throws not shadow
but more light on the moon
of my imagination. Because I see further
I travel further than a cartographer's
pen. Any place that cannot be imagined
is imaginary, any place that can
be imagined is not imaginary,
it is a space-station I will soon star-
trek to in my satellite spinnings.
And this is my diary, each entry
is not a man's small step in the pages
of a log-book but the heart's giant
leap in the orbits of the universe.