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#4555 - Friday, March 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #4555 - Friday, March 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights ... A FEW POEMS by Gabriel
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2012
       #4555 - Friday, March 30, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz  
      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights

      by Gabriel Rosenstock
      ~ ~ ~
      Sheet Music for Bird Song

      One by one they vacate the memory cells
      move out – we know not where –
      faces of the disappeared
      Wraiths drifting home from a club
      mist strolling a heath
      shadows witnessed by crows
      footsteps stalked by a one-eyed alley cat
      Before leaving, unceremoniously,
      this walking, wondering,
      wishful world of men
      to become tattered leaflets
      notices in train stations, post offices,
      strangers who enter our lives
      because of their absence
      touching us because they are of our time, our place
      What is the sum total of the vanished?
      Have they gone back to school
      learning again how to say
      ‘Good night, see you in the morning!’
      Do they assemble
      like fixed stars on frosty nights
      disappearing over and over again?
      A voice mumbles
      ‘They are spread out all over the earth
      and under the earth …’
      A second voice:
      ‘Dust, they are dust …’
      A third declares
      ‘They live and laugh and cry like us
      tenacious, insubstantial as gossamer …’
      First the names appear
      and to that known record is added
      more and more names
      ribboning back in time
      in more directions than I know
      a parchment the colour of a wintry sky
      before dawn’s childish daubings
      I gaze into that stippled void
      look! it was there all along
      sheet music for bird song.
      ~ ~ ~

      The boy’s eyes are full of wonder.
      What is it you have seen,
      his father asks.
      The boy has no words to describe the great stag.
      What can he do? Sing?
      He dances for his father
      the first steps of the Highland Fling.
      ~ ~ ~

      Recurring Nightmare

      The people’s spirit cracked like dry bone.
      In time they answered
      to other names
      in another language
      that fitted them like tight jeans
      They quickly mastered new-fangled things
      sending text messages to illiterate aunts
      back in Source of White River territory
      where the intestines of a black pig are still used
      for divination
      They exercised their vote.
      A certain delightful paleness entered their cheeks
      and they walk now to a new, bold rhythm
      pausing only to look in shop windows
      combing back their sleek hair
      Their diet today is more varied.
      Babies come into the world and are baptised
      without that lost look in their eyes.
      They speak volubly -
      Rapid fire -
      time is now more precious than before
      One of them publishes a poem abroad
      to much acclaim
      another is paid what you’d spend in a year
      for modelling underwear
      On hot summer nights
      when the air conditioning fails
      they dream the sacred waterfall …
      In olden days a seer would sit
      on a threadbare bullock hide
      and in a recess behind the bright roar
      plunge into ancestral silence
      invoking the restless spirit of the falls
      emerging from a corona of spume
      to scatter his pearl-strung litanies:
      all who listened were rooted to the ground
      and were healed.
      ~ ~ ~

      His Grace
      Nobody quite knows who you are
      or why you’re there
      taking up such valuable space
      almost enough for a wine bar.
      Your name suggests
      a Church of Ireland bishop
      as does your poise.
      Let me guess,
      you once did the Grand Tour
      your daughter sketched the Coliseum
      you instructed your secretary
      to pay the sum of five pounds
      to the Gaelic League.
      You preached sermons
      about vanity
      the illusion of grandeur and fame
      you cared for horses.
      Who are these people passing by?
      Not the type who seem to know much
      about old English roses.
      Why don’t they look up?
      Some do
      but your gaze is elsewhere
      towards heaven
      or, further still, the troubled Empire.
      ~ ~ ~

      Comfort Lady: a soldier remembers
      It was plain she had lost her reason
      as I had lost my soul
      Sleeping with a dead animal?
      Yes … You could say that
      She had lice in her hair
      For years afterwards
      my mouth sagged
      as though I’d had a stroke
      Old pleasures yield nothing.
      Gardening …?
      There seems to be as much death
      as life in the soil
      The pageantry of seasons?
      Crumbling stage scenery
      After the war
      she leaped to her death, I am told,
      emitting a sound
      like an eagle’s whistling cry
      I write this down
      so that my children and my grandchildren
      will know of my shame
      A leaf has just landed on the veranda
      I pick it up, examine its veins
      and half choke: time passes, a running sore.
      I went to die for the Emperor
      and lived -
      this is my sorrow.   
      ~ ~ ~
      Sweeney in Gleann na nGealt – the Valley of Lunatics
      They give me donkey’s urine to drink
      Watercress to chew
      For mental aberrations
      I am not mad
      If I am mad
      So is the wind
      Auroras streaming down the slopes of Gleann na nGealt
      You cannot see them?
      I will show them to you
      I have them here
      In the glowing palm of my hand
      ~ ~ ~
      ar fhuinneog.
      Bhíos in ann féachaint trína sciatháin.
      Ar feadh uair an chloig ina dhiaidh sin
      bhíos in ann féachaint trí gach aon ní
      is tríom féinig.
      ~ ~ ~

      Butterfly/on a window./ I could see through its wings./ For an hour afterwards/I could see through everything/ see through myself.
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