Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Memories Like Sea Shells

Sit close now and let the flames of ideas
lick the gaps between thought and experience;
let the shadows draw close, like arms resting
around shoulders, a companion's familiar breath
upon the neck, and listen to these words;
the only contact we have in sharing memories;
the trickster god of who we think we are.

When I was a proud Tree, time meandered;
in winter especially, saddest months, leafless despair,
a waiting - time seemingly inverse to the accumulation
of conquistador roots spread deep into the myth of words –
the wings of things far away shimmer, my mother’s lips
were the hard case of a patient seed that I never knew.

Ghosts on camels ride out of the desert,
the Moroccan wind whispers of African things
lost beneath the journey of feet
that left the sand, sought the desert ocean.

Things close fall into the mind like treacle, entwine
themselves as spirals of shadow and light;
fight with the ears and nostril for the shape
of all that may come about if the mind
can copy curved glass and remain focused ;
years and days, like the outreaching of  leaf
and branch, both as inconsequential as water
falling on water – waves beneath, waves on top
of waves, waves rolling, shifting, booming, coming
in, moving away - their departure confuses the senses,
thoughts sink like bare feet at the edge of sea.

As a tree, I listened to the thrum of the wings
of a humming bird who drank deep on the flowers,
listened to the woodpecker's search for the insect,
or the cicadas as they emerged, singing their frenzy
into the hot dusk skies while emergent stars above
watched in awe of a speed that they cannot know.
Conversed with dappled faerie, wept for the frog's
lonely vigil, their numbers dwindling into forlorn calls
across memories of when water sparkled
without the polluted rainbows of petrol and plastic.

I know not the truth of things, only their shadowy shape
beneath the canopy of time spread thin
as ice under the spring thaw. The first crack, the slip of one end
the slow shrinking into a river, then sea, then back to rain
waiting to fall again into a white sheet to cover the terrain.

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