domingo, 13 de noviembre de 2011

Two Poems by Claire Joysmith


TASTE OF LIFE
two coins 
clamped
between a grin
hard grip on 
a rusty bike   
speeding  
to some
destination: 
dirt road 
or cul-de-sac?
thirteen 
perhaps
a lucky year
no pockets
two coins
the wind 
speaking behind 
destiny-bound:
what more 
to life?



LINES COMPOSED BENEATH 
WEST KENNETT LONG BARROW*
The Romantics wove 
myriad ages of my being
into their poetry
even as I knew not 
of their green grass meadows
of sloping love and 
dozing distant bowers
dark hued burial mounds
skies thick with clouds
shadows cast from turrets
into oceans of liquid steel—
I had only known 
terracotta Mexican soil
trampled, barren, blood soaked
Quetzalcoatl’s plumes and shadows
ánima inhabited pirámides
a lake turned mud and asphalt
Cortés riding on a pedestal 
in a town square
I had known blood rivers run 
underground haunting 
kernels of timed out silence 
moving rhythmic to tortured 
Inquisition cries chiseled 
into treacherous Hacienda stone
I had known of Independence cries
a hell-torn Catrina Revolution
overnight etched borders in spilt
ink and blood on pennies tinkling 
into voracious foreign pockets
I had known eagle winged beings 
soar in tawny dreams 
woven from ancient songs
temazcal cleansing fires and 
cascabel nakedfoot dances—
I had not known 
of the darkling thrush
or nightingale odes 
except as black on white creatures
captured alive between faded guardian covers
I treasured and puzzled over 
etched onto student writing pads
during lonely nights 
their melodies lullabies for
wisps of memories unforgotten
So when I saw the lush patchwork green
those gentle hillocks, cornflower heads 
nodding in common happiness
as in Wordsworth’s daffodil dance
his solitary reaper and wandering cloud
so when I smelt the heavy dank stone and moss
felt sunless sea depths of quiet 
in the cavernous West Kennett Long Barrow 
I knew 
in a single breath
all I had long known.

*Neolythic tomb (barrow) near Silbury Hill, close to Avebury in Wiltshire, England. Its construction commenced in 3600 BC (predating Stonehenge) and remained in use for almost a thousand years.

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