The year’s drought washed to mud in autumn rains, How flowery sweet the lost spring bursts the wood! No stay to mourn the barren summer’s dead. No darkened silence where the fallen stood. This is the hour when all the living sing Lightening their honeyed silks along the air, Mad with the clean sun and the shining world, Knowing this bright, brief moment all their share Of lengthening day and slow warm summer fruiting. Feeling already how the heart-beat fails Where coldly lifts above the southern skyline The first blue wing-tip of the winter gales. Nan McDonald (1921 – […]
I had expected the dumb scorn of the world. Seeing that I had chosen to decline the wine cups and the proffered hands of the world, and even disgraced myself in the eyes of love coming cynically with dollars and gum. I am not such a fool but I should have been prepared To meet the averted long silence of friends.
Embryonic snarls herald in lover’s ear; panther and viper like a traveller coming leafing the ice channels of winter roads. with the warm and wired pattern of their bloods. As it were, the eye locates its zoo and the new captives catch old echoes, reprint the stamp of “very good” at school. and cages now crestfallen eagles are, the bars of wings huddled to the side, and the limp glint of lidless eye. curses the fingers of passersby whose torments of cheap peanuts shower the bird’s heart like bullets. The amorous alligator, glutted with lust, sinks its breast in the […]
This sweep of sky lit now by gold-white clouds, Rounded and full, maternal breasts leant over The young brown furrows, promising Their slopes with sweetest rain to cover, Burst on me with one soul-awakening shock Of glad surprise. my eyes Blinded by beauty after the long dark Of inward-downward looking. Gnarled old vines March down the slope in ordered lines, Each trunk withered and brown as weathered rock. Theresa the Yugoslav who works beside me Chides at my idleness: “You do not care for money then? You mark My words, you better hurry …” But I stand, Wet golden […]
The leaves are gone from the tree, Eddying. We too, wind-cold, with the leaves Revolving. We that were green in the sun Have the yellow of death in our veins. The tree is gaunt in the star-shells, Silver and black, grotesque. And the voice of the wind is a myth In the shouts of the hate. We know of our end— The fear is over for us. But we think and we think– O God! Will there be Spring again?
The planes seem to crash into my room. I feel their wings lurch In torment of darkness And silver; they leave their shadow Flat for an instant, then run Across the floor, like mice. One long, little shadow of death. Sweep, dip, roar in the sudden Zipped bass of them Above my roof, and I crouch down. I am nothing but the seed of fear, Crouching under the plane’s white Ribbed bellies. They are dark and silver in sunlight. Yet in my room they become Little shadows, scimetar slim as Fugitive fear, little shadows left For an instant at my […]
This is the hour When the black dog is eating moonstones and on the dark river gipsies are singing of moons made of blood. This is the hour when moths speak of insistence to a flame of white silence when clocks press the unwanted minutes into caps of metal. This is the hour when Proserpina forgets to cup the moon in her hands and love is a flower of paper under glass and dust.
It was such fun, with lantern light agleam, to hollow out the night of years and dream again, again, again of canefields washed by rain, and we two strolling arm in arm from riverside to farm, past crushing mills a blaze, through lantana lanes to laze on fragrant grass, and listening hear the rumble of the wheels borne on molasses-sweetened air ; and when the light took sudden flight, and blue-grey mantles of the night were spread o’er day, then lantern gleam would seem to leap and dance ahead, while at our muted tread the shy wild things would cast […]