Tag Archives: memories

Bruxelles

Starless

we waited,

for the dawn

together,

waited to hear

the hour chime,

waited

for the earth

to slowly spin

through time and space

and time again,

together

for the dawn

we waited,

and heard the hour chime,

Starless…

Author’s biographical footnote:

I originally composed this in 2002 dedicated to C.K.whose identity will remain a mystery

In Bruges

A soft elegant turquoise
caresses your eyes,
inviting you to join
and enter into the day;
a day of glances and looks,
talk and walk, coffee and books;
still now,languid at eight in the morning,
early buses down from
the station circumnavigate
the splendid Markt ,
diverting to destinations
hidden in a
nuanced symmetry of slowly
revealing labyrinths hewn
and cobbled,restored,narrow
and poignant two-storied brick
houses with neat serrated roofs
in angles and parabolas
fanning out from Langstraat
up to Jerusalemkerk with
their careful clever twists,
you navigate by spires,
cathedral and churches
and totemic Belfort ,
clocked and counting,
its innard three hundred and sixty-five steps
a challenge for later ;
now, bicycles, delivery vans
and the morning commuters are
unravelling their silken-thread
routes and your eyes trace a
lazy line on your pocketbook map,
from where you are to where
you need to be,
here in Bruges,
it’s all the same.

The Dust Bowl

The names and their faces
those times and their places,
the rundown rail depot
from where the last westbound left
in that dry-cracked goodbye summer
when water was heaven
and wells coughed their
grinding choking echo,
dust for a future
that had yet to be;
In those places and their times
heavy inked portraiture faces
made indistinguishable by
careless careworn thumb and fingers
of the ones chosen to
witness their passing,
so that records were kept
for whoever would come after
to research rediscover
those times and their places,
shrouded names and their faces
down by the rail depot
in that dry-cracked summer
when the westbound whistled its goodbye.

A whiff of the past…

Some aromas give you
A whiff of the past;
And you breathe in,
A part of your own yesterdays,
Like forgotten melodies rippling away
To faded pages
Of a yellowed diary.

Last day, the scent of turmeric
Took me with absolute ease-
To a pampered childhood-
Of healed bruises-
It showed me a serene face
With a sparkling nosepin
And a purple kumkum
And wrinkled palms with rough fingers-
Adept at hardwork-
Tending to my wounds.

I reminded myself that the earth, in fact, had gulped down her soul-
And I wondered if she had left parts of herself here with me-
Probably her best ones.

Tomboy:A Childhood Reminiscence

She’s got no claws,

she’s got no sting

but still she gushes in my blood;

she punctures holes in

in my thick old skin

she puts dead roses back to bud,

I held up pictures

of her climbing trees

Boys couldn’t reach those

far-off heights,but banged their

heads and cracked their fall.

then crawled back up

to kiss her knees.

(Copyright in this work has been asserted by Martin Nicholson)

The Saint,A Stranger Among Men

The Saint, A Stranger Among Men
A previous age, perhaps less materialistic than our present one would have recognised and
acknowledged his otherness. His air of inner spirituality which others say he carried with him
and wore as lightly as the finest cape about his shoulders. Shoulders that others imagined
might have sprouted angelic wings. Eccentric, a flaneur with a quietly assertive insouciance
he wafted along the boulevards with transcendent equanimity. Then on a day of no particular
significance, at least none that I could apprehend at the time nor afterward, I actually
encountered him at one of the more popular Cafes, this figure of some Left bank
intellectual /philosophical speculation /admiration/veneration. This itinerant dispenser of
wisdom and insight.
The Saint with the shabby overcoat and hangdog expression asked me if I could spare him a
few reminiscences. I replied that the change in my pockets changes with the changing tide,
though I could offer him some reflections instead. The Stranger sat back in his chair
ordered himself another absinthe and began whistling some nameless tune while he waited
for his drink to arrive.
” If all our pain and sorrow only came on the morrow would we set the alarm late or not at
all? taking the chance that vicissitudes had all somehow passed us by while we were fast
asleep.”
This I realised immediately was the aphoristic balm which the Saint dispensed with
customary generosity to those he presumed were in need of immediate spiritual relief of some
kind; which in his own inimitable view included just about everybody. Though not all at the
same time.
” And were we to store all our tears shed in our lives, how big would the bottle have to be?
Could we claim back some pennies if we returned it empty? ” I was inwardly responding with
something akin to mild annoyance, outwardly with a beatific smile bordering on rictus when,
the Saint glanced askance at his watch where time had stopped years ago.
He wondered aloud where the waiter might’ve got to with his drink? “ If we don’t feel the
suffering of others, how will we know if we have blood in our veins? ” thereupon the Saint
got up, bid me adieu and was gone.
Some time after he’d left I saw in the mirror that there was no longer a reflection there
of me.

Loss

Eyes gaze

at a Meissen

cup and saucer,

white like the

exquisite Flemish

lace covering the

polished teak table

where fingers drum

on a dusty

book cover:

inside

on yellowing pages

words crumble

like dried bones,

and the eyes

that once sought

after them

for meaning,

now gaze

immobile,

detached,

at someone’s fingers

drumming on a

dusty book cover

drumming their

own retreat

from a philosophy

that long ago

faded

and longer ago

was forgotten,

left

discarded

on the polished

teak table

covered by

exquisite Flemish lace,

white

like a  Meissen

saucer

and..

Lakota

The bitter dusts of war

the bitter dusts of famine,

pierce men’s skins

swirling in their hearts

with a coyote chorus

of forgotten words,

forgotten peace;

The Winds of corpses

and the Winds of souls,

howl with their forgotten promises

across our empty hunting grounds

where the promises of Buffalo

gave way to certainty of steel;

The blood of our braves

and the blood of heaven,

moisten barren earth

placing a veil of green

on the lamentation of widows

and their inheritance of dreams.

 

The Statue

The city of Concepcion,

its physical parameters circum-

scribed by conjectural development,

its identity arrived at through

an intricate labyrinth of

historically determined steps;

At its heart the dominant

Plaza of the Conquistadors

abutted by an inspiring

Madre de Dios Cathedral,

lending a certain gravitas to

an otherwise lacklustre civic space;

And in the Plaza’s geometric centre,

a benignly neglected equestrian

statue of Concepcion’s Founder,

the breastplated and intensely proud

The Duke Juan Aguila-Alvarez;

the barely legible inscription

at the base of ” A.D.1543 ”

obscured by an injudicious

accretion of plentiful guano

nourishing for agrarian soil,

but not for civic masonry.

Lest We Forget

Lead me into
that gentle soft morning,
to that place
where men once stood
commanding the Sun,
to that place
where a half forgotten
long ago adagio
whispers through the air,
across the broken ground
and its sleeping grass,
to that place
moistened by the dew
of half remembered
valiant deeds;
Lead me then into
that gentle soft morning
of a going,
of a never coming back later;
Later the grand parade
halted,obedient,waiting
waiting at that place
where men once stood
commanding the Sun;
themselves cocooned in rapture
for the final salute,
one last acknowledgement
that this,
that all this,
is later.

 

Author’s Footnote :-

This poem was originally entitled  ” Kyrie Eleison ” and retains that moniker as featured on YouTube and possibly elsewhere.