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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

In the Southern Garden of Eden


File:Waitakere Forest n.jpg

In dreams we're adrift in a life

Before or beyond the present life.

In time a shadow falls over this

Earthly paradise. Was it false?

Alas. Tribulation.

And we are here. There

In the southern Garden of Eden

What were we waiting for, in that forest?

File:Obscured jaguar.jpg

The earth circling, rising and falling,

The air revolving around it; a fern waving;

A jaguar who is the night sun

Circling; seeds drifting on air; a woman

In the guise of the rain goddess

Singing the psalm Delectasti,

And this motion causing the forest,

Because it is dense, to resound.

File:Rainforest (Dominica).jpg

This is more than we were promised.

Density of life. Invisible currents.

Birds singing from liquid patios of leaves

Into the glistening and tenuous air

Between evening and the absence of evening

There among the teeming shadow-temples.

Growths taking root. Here.

And the shadow falls over them.

File:Rainforest Fatu Hiva.jpg

Forest in the Waikatere Ranges, North Island, New Zealand: photo by James Shook, 2005
Jaguar (Panthera onca), Belize: photo by Gary M. Stolz, 2008 (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Ferns in rainforest, Dominica, West Indies: photo by Hans Hillewaert, 2006

Tropical rainforest, Fatu Hiva Island, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia: photo by Makemake, 2005


Anonymous said...

"A jaguar who is the night sun"
the chuff hnnnh chuff of the hungry cat
at dusk the prey looks for cover
but I

great poem tom....goes to the top of my leaderboard.

TC said...

Thank you Zev.

I like yours as well.

(By the way, there lurks behind this post, among other things, the twenty-eighth canto of the Purgatorio of Dante.)


Just finding this, great 'connections' to what follows ("Starlight and Shadows"). We were reading Stevens last night, things here sounding of things there -- "Earthly paradise," "we are here," "this motion causing the forest,/ Because it is dense, to resound," Birds singing from liquid patios of leaves/ Into the tenuous and glistening air" (wow!) -- beautiful.

leigh tuplin said...

Such expansive images live through this, and movement to follow. Wonderful!

TC said...

Thank you Steve and Leigh.

Yes, here I did wish to emerge at least briefly from the shadows into the color and light of image (imagination)

It felt like free lunch or home free... at least until that shadow (which seems to have been deputed as the cop on this beat) fell over it.

aditya said...

Thank you for writing this one and clearing up the shadows.