Thursday, 5 April 2012

Canada, Late September

A haiku and a meditation

In all places now
we hear the wind sing of war:
dust will fall for dust.

I stepped briefly outside myself
– or so I thought when stepping –
reckoning much that’s to be said
needs hearing, as plain as the facts
may seem, as straight down the line.
Pressed for time, a poet’s convinced
to cut the chase — even though she knows
pursuit is poem.  Eurydice must not surface.
The wolf must, ever-louder groaning, grow.

There are those, even in Canberra,
who would willingly block out the sun:
a slip-slop-slap for Armageddon;
a world that went out in lifestyle.
To them, the self-styled tragics,
I say, ‘Your Christ died
on just such a day — so lift your gaze,
at least enough that you can see
your enemy stand, weapon in hand,
a lewd verse for a reprimand,
the one you’d defy — but know
you’re in thrall to its every demand:

This is my biro; this is my gun.
This one’s for killing; the other’s a pun!

And now, the deed is done.
Canberrans know it: stock-still
the suited stand on Capital Hill,
their races run, overcome,
stunned by all the fun.

It’s beyond funding, though.
’S bigger than all the glaciers
it shrinks, shatters, heaves, and harrows
– boulders tossed so casually
into chasms, turning, careening,
a squadron of sparrows, dancing
down an air-built thoroughfare,
screaming through countless snows
(below!) below’s the answer.

So, too, your taxes, friend:
the chaos’ll have those.
So too, our nutra-sweet national anthem:
words more meaning will destroy
what aspirational electors chose.
So, too, our suburbs bright and new:
the coming days’ll make
each pneumatic drill-quake,
each dream to bulldoze, but a trifle
beside the force that now
and steadily, daily, gathers shape,
grows, grows – a living culture,
school for all fellows –
and anyroad, who (ever)
really knows how very little
doom a battler can find
in the earth, the air, the sea,
the seed a man sows?

Back inside myself, all’s well
or not, as the ayes or nays
may have it.  Love, a grammar
of family and friend, knows
no reason for this.  My sweetheart
senses an ire that is tired
and forgives with a kiss.

blasts our Alberta farmhouse bed-
room, thundering, rise, rise!
Wipe the tears of all your
bitter dreams from bleary eyes!
Get up all chirpy North American
and greet your hosts so kind!
Bacon’s cooking; coffee’s brewing;
last night’s newlyweds are
on their way.  Praise (not to mention
my rays) be: this is a brilliant day!

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