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Entries in new poems (4)

Thursday
Nov162017

FAST EDDY - by Peter Neary-Chaplin

Awakening
I straight away let go,
surrendering
the need to know.
A little point of turbulence I shall be,
fast eddying
in this crazy downhill flow.
Somewhere downstream
I form
a pirouette
and seem
to draw things to myself awhile,
hold them in my gravity.
I am
defined.
But then unwind
and all my swirling self
disbands,
ending up in far-off lands,
evaporating into space
or crashing in a sea of grace.
So swirling’s what I came to do.
It’s not my fault:
there is no blame.
I swirled
and now
the river’s not the same.


 

From Steady, Pilgrim by Peter Neary-Chaplin

Saturday
Aug122017

Return of the wolf - by Peter Neary-Chaplin

From the time of his freshest young imagining,
the earliest conjectures,
the first tug of horizon-longing
to the hewing and working of sweet wood
into a squat cabin,
to the dragging of rocks to clear a way for the ploughcut,
the sparkle and rush of mountain water
and the sudden dash of birds around the tiller,
the thrum of bugs in a warm sundown ,
the sculpting of ferocious land,
the carving of order and setting of boundary marks,
the wolf was always there,
present in half-shadow,
near enough to snatch scraps of meat and bone,
pale eyes made orange by the licking flame.

Soon the woman came,
the fire went indoors.
The tiller looked away,
took baths,
embraced the soft joy of her.
There was always much to do,
the summers bloomed and they were full.

Soon long winter took more than summer gave.

I have loved you, loved this, she spoke,
but this is not the love I crave.
This is my best, he sighed, my best.
This is what I have. 

One day she took a nap,
woke after two long days.
The doctor puffed his cheeks,
stared at the floor. 

While the earth mound was still fresh,
even before the wooden cross,
the wolf returned by night.
Scenting where she lay he howled her loss.

 

The fire came back outside
and neither made a sound,
pale eyes made orange by the licking flame,
red muscles stretching on the dusty ground.

From Steady, Pilgrim by Peter Neary-Chaplin

Sunday
Dec142014

Breathing Under Water - by Carol Bieleck

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbours.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance, 
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
- and still I don't know how it happened -
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,
less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming. 
Slow, but fowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
A while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew then, there was nether flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being neighbours
and you give your house for a coral castle,
and you learn to breathe underwater. 

 

See also this beautiful short video based on this poem.

Monday
Dec082014

10-minute poems

Take a pen,
set your minute timer to ten
and catch your words like fleeing dreams,
new butterflies in this child's gentle net 
meeting for the first time friend to friend,
already beautifully grown
but not quite finished yet,
still awkward,
still a little wet,
summoned to your party unprepared;
even you don't know what you intend.
And when the clock runs down
stop.
Ignore,
distract,
play darts or walk the dog.
Come back tomorrow to redact.
Let today's words dry in warming sun,
the introductions over,
the hardest part now done.