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Tuesday, 1 December 2009



File:'Udaipur, 1916' woodblock print by Charles Bartlett, 1917 .jpg

If on the moon palace stairs
A thin wash of water colour bleeding

Across the body chemistry frontier blurs,
As traffic slowly hones the blade of evening

And scatters its eyes across dusk's drift and growth,
That sharp outline we think of as reality,

It would perhaps be time to go to Plan B --
That is, to try to remember the colours of the morning.

File:'Taj Mahal, Sunset', woodblock by Charles W. Bartlett, 1920.jpg

Udaipur: Charles W. Bartlett, 1916 (Honolulu Academy of Art)
Taj Mahal, Sunset: Charles W. Bartlett, 1920 (Honolulu Academy of Art)


Mariana Soffer said...

Beautifull text, great writting, I liked the opening, the moon palace.
It is a pleasure to read such well written poetry
take care

TC said...


Thanks always for your visits and encouraging words.

El gusto es mio.

aditya said...

Exquisite Tom. I absolutely admire the way the structure of this poem flows. Each line catching hold, of the the next one. Defying the punctuations, and the Caps.

India. Is a beautiful place. Believe me.

Do keep writing.


Elmo St. Rose said...

my doctor friends from India
say it's not a good idea to
wash your feet in the Ganges,

in training one of them saw
a man die from a cobra bite
the other a man die from

they seem to like it here(USA)
quite a bit

after listening to them talk, jealous of this exotic pathology
I decided I wanted to see
Slumdog Millionaire three more's got a better
outcome than Fiddler on the Roof

and "the colors of the morning"

the poet's new day

the classic line I repeat to
depressed patients and quite a true

"What's tomorrow? No, What's tomorrow?"

"It's the first day of the rest
of your life"

Anonymous said...

finding my memory
in more and more spaces
driven by scents sounds colors
that exist
in the air of time
which we silly beings say passes.

~otto~ said...

I want to go here: "the moon palace stairs"

and, oh, the colours of morning ... ah, yes

simple, sweet and strong

TC said...

Ah, morning: forever trying to find it by waiting through the night to sneak up on it.

But thus trapped, it is not itself.

In the air of time we find ourselves on the moon palace stairs with these memory colours, these almost tangible dreams...

(P.S. Aditya: I believe you.)

human being said...


seeing the world in water color
no dinstictive lines of reality
beautiful blurry truth
through tearful eyes


Sohrab Sepehri says the best thing to achieve is eyes that are tearful because of the incident of love...

the magnificent images you created reminded me of many things i deeply love... water color, Monet, blurry scences, and Sepehri...

plan B was a killer...

TC said...

Thank you and Sepehri, HB: softly... through a grainy or porous medium.

Jon said...

the poem is like a breeze through the leaves...

u.v.ray. said...

Once again, you are at your best when such deceptive simplicity reveals greater depths each time I read through it.

Phonetically, absolutely splendid.

Yes, Tom, old bean, I am still about. Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated!

billymills said...

A poem for a poem:

these trees
this grove
this garden

in morning

the very edge
of day

an order
sun imposes

these shrubs
these beds
this pathway

stand & wonder
why these walls
these trees
that very foxglove

wait now
spring will
come again

TC said...


Many thanks, lovely. I've always loved Adorno's account of the rustling birth of the lyric as like the dimly apprehended sound of either wind or water moving unseen in a forest, who knows which it is... "rauschen", a quiet rushing.


Very kind of you, and as to your still being about, I am pleased and gratefully relieved; in fact have just now visited your friendly rag & bone shop (where in fact you are looking very sharp), comparing notes with you about tube dread.



The ultimate trust.

u.v.ray. said...

Thanks, Tom. Yes I just replied to you in regards to the horror of tube trains.

Stu said...

Bartlett's images are beautiful, as is the poem.

On first read "As traffic slowly hones the blade of morning" caught my imagination, but reading this over and over I love how the lines flow together and suggest: a place, and perhaps a place beyond place?

Memory takes us places...

TC said...

Thanks Stu,

I don't know where that flowing place is... it's certainly there somewhere or we wouldn't be able to flail away so at the attempt to speak of it ("whereof we do not know...")... but the freeway-feeder traffic can be a knife in its heart, sometimes.

Hard to keep from thinking of Bartlett, in his later "paradise" years, as an entranced old surf bum (probably goofy-footed).

(Must confess that while doing up that latter post I had thought of you and sub-located the action, in my ancient daft mind, to Brighton Beach...)

aditya said...

I feel closer to my self with an understanding, I usually remain unaware of, as I read you at certain times.

I re read it again Tom.

With an amalgam of love and hurt flowing through spans of air I breathe in at 4 in the morning. Am not allowed to be up at times as such .. but frankly .. who cares?

The urge to know what colors of the morning shall deposit on composite pavements of agony while you desiccate nights beneath the soil, is present in uncharted volumes at the most familiar places.

The colors could be beams of some rising star, knotted in to patterns or the phlegmatic manner of an unknown unfelt grief settling on to the floor.

Or the oscillating throbs of hurt mistaken for love, as they guide agitated pedestrians above while they keep knocking in to each other. Again. And again ..


TC said...


I don't know what it is about poetry that enables it to unlock these gates in certain sensitive souls through which the mysterious, unexpected and sometimes even perhaps unwanted emotions come in such floods.

But I have long suspected you are one of those sensitive souls.

And without such souls I do not know that poetry would have any very good reason for existing; or even, for that matter, that it would come into being in the first place.