Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

Two Solitudes

May 26, 2010

Two Solitudes

by Tim Hazell

Goodnight friends, lights of the city!
A bullet between your space and mine.
I return to an immense silence,
Leaving your thronged pavements to the unfaithful
Who emerge, as always, after the sun has set.
Your mountains surround, but only serve to trap
The stagnant and immobile air.
The ardent shadows of your towers conceal poisons.
I would rather search bald hills
For veins of silver.
It has been done before. It can be done again
By wanderers who still cherish the element of surprise.

Paying no attention to where I’m going.
I pilfered your gift for radar…
You loved me once,
Therefore I cannot lose.
I will not be swayed, or end my numbered days hypnotized
By my reflections in your thousand windows,
Chaotic forces, canted buildings,
Back streets, monuments, pendulums.
Grounded and content,
I want to see you from a distance, but not at any price.
Think about it!

What is the difference between
Endless pleasure, seduction, speed,
Virtual reality, and liberated illusion?
Images spring to mind, meld.
The body language of birds and predators,
Our gavotte between tables after hours,
The meagre results of the chase.
One must be delirious to race through
Several lifetimes like that,
Or unaware of lives previous, pulled apart by unstoppable currents.
You and I were linked together, joining the herd
In the industrial quarter under the black rain.

You said, “Welcome to Paradise!”
But men, women are not miracles,
Only half finished bridges between
Mute things of flesh and sex and the angels.
You were misguided but generous in your fashion.
I feel so helpless watching you sink,
But must cut and run before it is too late.
I can´t remember waking up.
I just became aware of all my senses at once,
Nerves stripped bare, worn on the outside
Like an electric net.
I have the strength now to say it’s over.

Good night friends, lights of the city!
I see the armies retreating, disenchanted.
Soon the body will have no heat.
There are already vandals in your alleys.
I must preserve my dreams in colour,
Not black and white.
I became as empty as your plazas in the end.
Your lamps are burning even in the daytime,
Inside the cavities of structures without entrails,
Of confident, arrogant, blind stainless steel and glass.
Your air smells sour and sweet.

Sentinels, gaping forms of muscle and bone,
Parchment and hair are everywhere down,
Recumbent and ablaze,
Samaritans perhaps,
Keepers of a temporary surrogate life of wax
That shines and drips,
Creating dignity at the finish.
Temporary, to be extinguished amongst carnage.
Your powerline arteries writhe like serpents.
Everything will soon be wet and decrepit.
A verdant apocalypse is coming,
Yellow, orange and red.

I gaze into a mirror.
My younger self hovers nearby,
Giving me back the freedom to
Walk on forever.
If we are introduced again,
Keep our secrets intact.
Wear a poker face and expect nothing.
Try to feel nothing at all.

Savour the diamond memories.

Advertisements

Wetlanders

May 23, 2010

Wetlanders

by Tim Hazell

Open your door and listen for my call.

We go to the well, you and I, to draw water from it.

Water for the thirst of the God,

for the thirst of ourselves and our children.

Water for the thirsty pot over the fire

in which we will prepare our food.

We wash our clothes at the river’s edge.

A boy leaves his belongings on a stone

and plunges in to luxuriate in his nakedness

and the water’s caress.

He will bring this ceremony back with him

and carry that exquisite torrent in his head.

The tropical sun is out but it’s raining.

Light hits the droplets and they become dispersed mandalas

reflecting the spectrum, peacock radiant.

Water runs down the streets of our provincial town like rumors.

You can watch from the streaked windows,

daydream, cease to exist.

I daydream as clouds gather and a heavier rain begins.

My mother is asking, “What is that smell?” as she gets my bath ready.

I smell basil, black herbs – the water’s scent of all herbs combined.

The scent will emanate from fields and wildflowers

at river’s edge like watermusic to serenade the eternal summer’s night.

I expect to smell like this forever, like perfumed blood.

Today the sun does not dance, the water does not shimmer,

the green mountain does not smile.

A form made of water rises over the town church, hovers,

is gradually reduced by the sun, vaporized.

The wind picks up, keening in a woman’s voice,

wheedling like a crone.

This happens in front of me.

I see and hear and smell and touch and taste the experience,

flooded on the inside. I churn. My lungs threaten to burst.

I feel intensely alive at this moment, ignited by the natural water,

water that is mine, private, internal,

that no one else shall ever possess.

Today, the monsoon will grace this house,

each sad drop one facet of an insect’s compound lens.

The deluge a dark mirror of myself, my chattel, my neighbors.

The sodden earth receives, tomorrow will flower.

Afterwards I’ll press my ear against the smooth barrel of the cistern

to listen for its speech and know the voice of imprisoned water.

Another day of life, of nostalgia, begins,

infused with the odor of humus. I am unable to sleep,

ignited by the dawn, then pelted by the sky.

Salt flows from my eyes, my eyelids are of stone.

I cannot leave the bed, pass my hands over my body,

which now belongs to you alone.

My basket of memory empties as yours fills.

Your eyes appear on the ceiling of my room,

slowly descend and sink into the floor.

I remember that yours is the glance

that can persuade the clouds

to let out their hearts.

Wind, rain, conjure me up a purified soul!

A soul that shivers and is water essence,

blue, transparent, transcendent.

With this I may entice you back.

Water dissolves, reconciles everything.

The one arbitrator impossible to resist.

I’m sure to be acquitted after this long monsoon night ends.

The rains are persistent, insistent.

You will relent, no argument is strident enough.

Inside these four white walls,

I open the window to let the room breathe.

With the cool blast will come a rush of the imagination.

Turn to me now and say that you want coffee and rain.

I will pour, steam will rise, and we’ll both wait for the sky to open.

Water is still a mystery,

the clearest mystery I know.

When the clouds break, the earth runs,

sweet liquid enters our mouths.

It redoubles its dance on the roof tiles,

wakes the baby in the crib.

I am at the window, watching an old man

with carpenters’ tools and gnarled body

make his arthritic journey across the rivulets,

drenched and unprotected.

The rain helps us to sing.

We are silent now in front of this ritual.

Silent because we are small and rudderless.

We are not the originators of the song.

We have only dipped our hands in the water.