October 08, 2004

New Poem (To be Published in The New Welsh Review in 2005)

Writing about web page http://www.newwelshreview.com/

Space Time

Ordinary time appears to stand still on the horizon of a black hole.
Stephen Hawking.

Here is an island like a jewel or scarab
on the flat lagoon where the herons wade;
we walk the circle of main-street from town-hall door
to town-hall gate and find that every pathway
leads to the waterfront where birds wing air currents
like iron filings in paths of magnetism.

A buzzard of the Mexican highlands is drawn
by this feeding ground of turtle, shrimp and beetle:
gods that fell headlong from the sunís ripening course
to merge with the earthbound souls of the dead
and plague us invisibly for life and vigour,
the buzz of regret eclipsing the Milky Way.

You show me the stars of the southern hemisphere
Here, the beekeeper wooing the hives with his charms,
and here, a ladyóObsidian Butterfly
spelled with stars, throwing arrows against tidal winds.
No more of the past, that which has always happened,
but a remote island that jolts to life each day.

Lying on the pier, I put an eye to the slats:
the lagoonís quiet pulse of bird foot or paddle
teaches me to hear and know a bird arced in space,
a pebble thrown up over water in the dark.
The sky will persist for a thousand years and I
will remain here young, in search of the Southern Cross.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Joe Watson

    Hi Zoe. The blog is nice & purple. I like "we walk the circle of main-street from town-hall door/
    to town-hall gate…" for some reason. My Mexican mythology is not too hot, although I did recognise the Obsidian Butterfly. Regards —Joe :)

    30 Oct 2004, 20:59

  2. Makes me feel as though I'm suspended in the twilight zone…and I love the first stanza "we walk…and find that every pathway leads to the waterfront" – the poem as a whole is dream-like – wonderful stuff.
    ~ Sholeh

    13 Nov 2004, 13:43

  3. Hi Zoe,
    This is fantastic..I loved the richness of imagery and scope of reference..The way you're pulling us through ancient Egyp; into, and over the world, into a neat circle of rebirth. For some reason it puts me in mind of The Last Duchess; maybe that notion of omniscience? Though here you're obviously doing it through nature..But definitely an omniscient narrator; like Lowell, or maybe Bishop.

    10 Feb 2005, 00:55

  4. It's interesting that you thought it was Egypt. Other people have thought so too. I'm thinking of changing the word scarab for that very reason, as the place in the poem is an island on a lagon in Western Mexico.

    28 Feb 2005, 13:23

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