Sunday, 28 April 2019

I do not have you close by

I do not have you close by
And you did not have yours near
Either

And neither are we broken
We are hard
We made it and lost it

Because we would not let
The self tremble
In the evening breeze

No

Moulded it into stone
Round and hard
Un-smash-able

Yes

Tired [we are]
Tried [we did]
Tread [soft now]

Love

Sweet-lipped waits
Waits and sighs
In the fading light

But our hearts have flown
We have reaped
What we have sown

We have buried our treasure
Deep within
And inside

Him

The unexplored galaxies
And our undiscovered space
Swirls on and on




Monday, 11 March 2019

This Poet's Prayer

The exiled poet's words fell between concrete cracks
To incubate in darkness for unnumbered days
No one to count time passing
No one to add up the word-truth of the man
Who wept himself into his grave

A
Century
Of
Rain
Fell

Snow
Came
Down
In
Torrents

You were well and truly buried



O how we now shiver in this biting cold



But today unearthed
Your remains gleam in a certain kind of light
A heap of warm embers glowing

May they now grow hotter and burn within the bones
Of the living
May they now raise the dead to new life


~ From the top of my ruins I say only this ~


Bless, O Lord,  those bones with your unquenchable fire
To burn and burn



["I regret only this perhaps,
That I shall not be given my own grave,
Such as I have requested from my friends.
So what? Have I missed anything on this earth
With Words? I have waited for everything until
My heart is broken as great organs break.
This too - who knows? - will happen to my grave." *]


[[And so it did **]]



* Cyprian Norwid, A letter from America, 10 April 1853



** On 24 September 2001, 118 years after his death in France, an urn containing soil from the collective pauper's grave where Norwid had been buried in Paris' Montmorency cemetery, was enshrined in the "Crypts of the Bards" at Wawel Cathedral. The cathedral's bell heard only when events of great national and religious significance occur, resounded loudly to mark the poet's return to his homeland. 


Please let the Discourse Begin *

I read a poem by Cyprian Norwid today that so reminded me of one I wrote years before discovery the supreme genius of Norwid. His poem is called 'A Meeting'. The title of my poem 'The Power of the Word' comes from the title of an academic conference on poetry that I attended, which deeply depressed me.


A Meeting

Rubbish is swept away and every chair
In the vast hall is dusted. Great men come in,
Sit down with a scrape like swords sheathed, and then
They announce - what? That all of them are there.
And they sit and they sit – until somewhere
In the world a madman discovers steam,
A mediocre artist nails down a sun-ray,
And some untutored dentist with supreme
Skill saves man from his supreme agony.
The Academies keep silent – all the members there. **

(1851)


The Power of the Word
The academy is gathered Suited, ageing men going grey Growing into texts, so bending And swaying like overbearing trees And those listening, lost in the forest The frost settling on the ground The cold biting, the dark deepening

The care is only for ideas 
Those of self and others who have threaded Thought-waves of a similar ilk Into a silver-surfaced mirror reflecting The one image of manifold unafraid Man's folly Singular Wisdom waited a while and then left, weeping As she locked the door to protect those on the outside
(2010)

* 'End of discourse' is a phrase used by Norwid at the end of his poem Bagatelle (1) 

** 'Cyprian Norwid - Poems - Letters - Drawings' translated by Jerzy Peterkiewicz

Friday, 14 December 2018

Humanity

Humanity, no longer wrapped
But exposed
Removed from the womb
Of personhood  and remembrance

Humanity, no longer housed
But outside
In the cold of eviction
And forgetfulness

Humanity, no longer clothed
But naked
Exposed to the deception
Of all that is in the Idol

The Idol of humanity
Turns and turns
There is a beast
There is a harlot

There is wanton destruction

But there is a Lamb
Slain
But wreathed in victory
King of all Kings
Lord of all Lords
Standing, standing for war

Standing for Man
Standing for Woman
And her seed

Bloodshed inevitable

O sin in the flesh
Is killed only by killing flesh

Sacrifice embedded in humanity's heart
It beats, it beats
To forget
[that sin in the flesh is killed only by killing flesh]


It is finished

Softly, softly, tread softly

Softly softly, tread softly
Lofty ideas range around in the air above
Your head
And within a distant song

Softly softly, tread softly
See the shard ready to pierce
Your ready feet
And heart

Softly softly, tread softly
Flee to the near path
That is only lit from within
Your feet, heart and song

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Hope 2018


There comes a word
To break small-stoned silence accumulating in the soul
A whispered word, wisdom-filled
For you

There comes an image
That is not self-filled, ego-driven or face-less
It is faith-filled, faithful and evergreen through the seasons
For you

There comes a sound
Swelling from the depths eternity-covered
Pitch-perfect, shame-lifting with each beat in time
For you

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The fire falls

The fire falls and burns behind eyes, within hands
Not long now until the chapter ends and the seal is opened?
And with Inequity unleashed, Justice’s heart will be devoured
O Mercy will weep at such a sight -
Sorrow carrying her young and burying them one by one
In the ancient earth
She will fall silent - no lament or praise to hail this new dawn

The Advent sign was not what we imagined -
Blackness yielding eternity from Time’s beating breast
It took such an age for this coming
Long-awaited, baited-breath, storm-stilled at last
The whirlwind reaped leaving landscapes bereft
Signs of life ripped up and just vanished

O Mercy, Sorrow and Justice
Bowed witnesses, foreheads kissing dust

O Love, to behold beauty born of a woman’s seed
And the perfection of completeness
No incantation accompanied this incarnation
Just silent-night wondering and a heartbeat buried so deep
In eternity bursting into smoke-filled air
With a cry to quench the fiercest of fires
And divide death’s domain in two forever


Sarah Larkin, Advent 2016 and 2017