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Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

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Brahminy Kite

We grasp the core only gradually

of each other’s compressed midnights —

black roses flowering in sandy-eyed dawns,

memories stowed to starboard, where a

brahminy’s wings catch first light,

How did we manage it, sailing

on — weathering

Excerpts from Robert Adamson poem ‘Brahminy Kite’.

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The sky is overcast

DSC_0542

– The sky is overcast
With a continuous cloud of texture close,
Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,
Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,
A dull, contracted circle, yielding light
So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
Chequering the ground–from rock, plant, tree, or tower.
At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam
Startles the pensive traveller while he treads
His lonesome path, with unobserving eye
Bent earthwards; he looks up–the clouds are split
Asunder,–and above his head he sees
The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.
There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,
Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small
And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss
Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away,
Yet vanish not!–the wind is in the tree,
But they are silent;–still they roll along
Immeasurably distant; and the vault,
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
Still deepens its unfathomable depth.
At length the Vision closes; and the mind,
Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,
Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,
Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

William Wordsworth

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1653

Rainbow bee-eaters

Wings fuelled

by the knowledge of bees

 

turning on axles of air

each crescent beak

 

An orange-coloured talisman

Once snowy-headed elders

 

gathered honey bags

in turpentine forests

 

feathery blurs eating bees

hovering miracles

 

alongside ancient cliffs

flashed brightly

 

Your film exposed to them

transparencies

to stay love by catching day

light on pages

 

the translucent calligraphy

of wings

 

by Robert Adamson, The Goldfinches of Baghdad

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On my plate

On my plate
Deep fried oysters and calamari

Outside
The wharf
People waving at the water taxi
Pelicans congregating near the pier
Dolphins jumping out of the water

On my plate
A softshell crab

Down the balcony
I spot a ray
At the bottom of the Bayou

Yonder
A boy on a raft
An African man
They try to navigate the rapids
And down the river

On my plate
Key lime pie

Outside
The wonderful deep blue sea,
White waves are rolling and breaking,
Against the sand of the white sandy beach
Seagulls gliding through the air
People manning fishing boats

Yonder
Past the Gulf
An old man , Santiago
He has caught a huge marlin
He struggles
Alone on his boat
Trying to get back to the port

On my plate
It’s empty

Outside
Just clouds against the horizon

And inside..
Everything vanishes

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Freshwater lake

Filled with lotus flowers, lily pods

Catfish,  monitor lizards

And playful otters

 

An elderly aboriginal woman

Gathering edible herbs

for a family of campers

Exchanging warm smiles for the hospitality

Upon looking down

Her wrinkly hands eaten by disease

 

Time elapses..

Her spirit dwells on

A metamorphosis

of  all the lotus flowers

on every lake and pond

As a recompense…

Of this distant memory.

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The Mountain

The mountain towers above wide, open plains
From its peak, paddy fields appear etched in stencils
The Straits’ water glimmer in the distance
Mists that hover and linger above the canopy of dipterocarp trees
Dissipate with the rising sun

The passage of time swirls around the mountain
Yet it appears timeless

Centuries ago, it beckoned travelling ships
Carried by trade winds enroute to the East
To anchor, to explore this land enshrouded with mystery
Now its visitors gone, yet remnants of their sojourn dwell for longer

The mountain
Conquered by man, it seems
Long, winding road leads up to the summit
Where strawberry fields and rose gardens once a legacy
Now a resthouse and a museum to be

Yet the mountain stood still, wild, majestic
As the vast untamed jungle surrounds it
Jealously guarding its fauna
Wary tigers, agile deers roaming free
Leaving footprints, whiskers and glee

In the foothills, forgotten tales, stories aloft
A flooding river during the monsoon and wilting cornstalks during the dry
Visions of a fair, petite woman watering her potted plants
While children play on the tarmac road shared with little billy goats
Unperturbed by small snakes sometimes slithering past, unnoticed amongst the fallen leaves

What’s left?
Memories, bitter sweet
What’s left?
Graveyards of ancestors
A rickety bridge across a creek
Clouds hovering above this ancient land
Bearing witness to the affairs of man

And the mountain…

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