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Friday, 30 October 2009

Fidelity (Later)


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NOAA Photo Library Image - corp2987






Fidelity, after long practice, to
The things that have crossed one's path in life,
Moves one to find "history" in a morning,
A moonlit night, a transitory patch
Of sun upon grass, the turning of a cat's
Sleek head over its shoulder to look back
Into one's eyes, a lifelong lover's touch,
The memory of the shy sweet sidelong
Smile of a friend one may not see again
In "this life"--these things define home
To one now that one lives largely in one's mind--
As though there had ever been any other
Place--once born, once having existed--
In which to somehow locate a world

Because brief hours before fadeout life becomes
A late awakening, much as one assumes
Is the experience of "lost" generations
Whose youth is turned back toward childhood by
Dreams; just so one's own dim youth now at last
Appears a kind of slumber from which the slow
Process of waking took a half century
Or so, as time now opens up its eyes,
Yawns, stretches, struggles in dark to discover
Where it is among whirling things, places, years.
But of course one will never fully emerge
From this fog, nor in one's heart wish to do so,
For mere excursions don't suffice on visits
To dead cities--excavation too's required,
Cries out the hungry unborn poem
Within us, demanding to exist as
If alive





File:Falkland Islands Penguins 01.jpg































"King Penguin singing": Two King Penguins (Aptenoydes patagonicus patagonicus), South Georgia Island: photo by Lt. Philip Hall, NOAA, 1994-95 (NOAA photo library)
King Penguins (Aptenoydes patagonicus patagonicus), East Falkland Island: photo by Ben Tubby, 2007

11 comments:

bowiehagan said...

Tom,

reflecting on this poem,
your tale of Edward Dorn-

Love,
Bowie

TC said...

Bowie,

Knowing someone for a long time adds to a sense of a certain shape to life, a continuity, something to which to be true, and in that sense your friendship has also meant much to me.

bowiehagan said...

Tom,

It is a blessing that words may take place in time, in english.

Best,
Bowie

TC said...

Bowie,

You set a high standard in this regard and your words remind me to try to deserve this blessing.

Love,

Tom

Harlequin said...

the words and images are a lovely dance

TC said...

Thank you Harlequin.

A click on the lower image expands the dance of the kings...

SarahA said...

You see, I can not pick one part that pleases my inner core, more than another.
This is something I could and would want to read again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. Oh.....and again. Mainly because I am liking the feeling your words stir inside of me.

leigh tuplin said...

Such an excellent description of all that is 'alive', and the moments it nudges to remind (define) us.

~otto~ said...

Ah, the real work: "excavation too's required"

And the ending, superb

TC said...

I'm haunted sometimes by the idea that the words we need are down there inside and all we need is to keep digging, in the several senses of the term, no matter how exhausting or tiresome or painful... but of course it's so much easier just to skate along on the surface. When down there the hungry unborn poem is crying out like those miners trapped in a tunnel by an explosion, in a movie I saw as a child. They sang a nonsense song which I will sing for you right now (fortunately for you, you will not hear it). The point of singing it was to keep up morale, not because they thought somebody heard it and the excavation would get to them. My guess is that 99% of our songs and stories just stay forever trapped and buried down there, singing their brave and hopeless nonsense until the breath runs out.

Anonymous said...

the greekclear name
father I have no service faith stands in the center of all life.

intuition is nothing.
intuition is yourself.
common tongue of the world.
the greek clear name