Saturday, 16 June 2012

Isn’t There A Fanatic Somewhere In All Of Us?

What is it with you people?
You, who stand with your heads above the mist,
you with your Easter Island faces,
turned to the here and now, outward looking.
And I, here I am, elsewhere.
I balance on my straw raft,
float toward the horizon,
sea brine seeping past my toes.
In my delirium
I seek fresh water in the depths
and see monochrome men,
the lingering smoke of cigarettes,
the watch inturned and the hands adept.
Somewhere I lie with my face downturned,
my hands downstretched, catching
currents that left the shore decades past.

I couldn’t be happy in bobby socks
and outspread skirts. But.
But I will stand in the shadow by the dance hall wall.
I will watch them spin.
I will watch the play of muscle under skin,
the lucid eyes and the dark ones.
I will watch the sleek wet cling of cotton,
grained on film and left when life was vital.
I can look through the sheer water
and dream of the oxygen beneath the depths.
And dive, and dive again, and bring back pearls.

Friday, 15 June 2012

On Passing Her in the Street

Today we almost met.
You with your walnut heart,
your hatchet-blade face sharp-edged
straight on.
Today I realised how deep and wide
is the void between atoms.
How each of us is an emptiness,
each a spinning solar system,
more vacuum than dust.
Today I saw how even if I shouted
loud across that crackling void,
my words would slip between electrons
and fall, useless and unheard.
We none of us are really here,
and if I prised – or prized? – 
your walnut heart there would,
there would, be substance there –
but nothing to my taste. Nothing
but gall to my tongue.
I think, instead, I will hold facts close.
That each cell has its nucleus.
That each atom holds hands only with its kin.
That sometimes we can only speak
to those who speak back
in our own tongue.