Posts tagged ‘Austro-Hungarian Empire’

20/06/2013

Jesenica – Aberdare – Iron – Coal – 1913

 

The garlands of narcissi shone,

Amongst the regiments of steel.

From orange dust, in which they coughed:

Came building’s load, and railroad.

 

Just like the metal there was coal,

Which clogged the lungs, and coated souls,

And saturated hems and hopes

Of every waiting valley girl.

 

And from the margins built the calls,

Along the tunnels, from the slag,

Around the coke and winding sheds:

They sung the gallows, whispered war.

 

The patterns of despair were set

Across a Europe drowned in sweat.

 

 

04/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 5 – Just Passing Through)

 

1. In the Lobby of a Hotel, Kranjska Gora, May 2013

 

Are we between the wars again?

Or back when Empires froze and stared

At mountains barely understood?

We take “the tour”, we are the world,

 

And then that gap has opened up.

There’s knowledge here no one can know:

Israeli cases, linen suits,

A sporting team, some Irish girls

 

(Who laugh, then buy too many drinks).

We all look lost, but some breeze through.

The world we are will shift and twist,

And leave us clinging to our pasts.

 

We see ourselves one step removed.

We pass our evening sharing time.

 

2. Listening to an Israeli Tour Group

 

I roll in music born of tongues,

The beauty of the unheard sounds,

The meanings gleaned from rise and fall,

The other worlds I cannot know.

 

A flow of fear and joy combined,

A mystery from a mythic prose:

There’s sun in there and lemon groves,

There’s salt and desert, birth and dreams,

 

And then the stillness when they leave,

Their final rumble lingers on.

I hear the echoes down the hall:

A question mark which breaks through song.

 

Whatever place the words come from,

The human voice always belongs.

 

 

3. Borders

 

One border is a mountain range,

An earthquake shattered caravan,

A sheer drop of broken seas:

We stand outside its distant age.

 

Another border has its plaques,

It hides in parks and deep in books,

It towers like the end of time:

We cannot touch its heroes here.

 

The final border has no words.

It creeps out from the forest edge,

It fights for life with every breath:

Its meaning is its force within.

 

We cross a line and sense a change:

The air is clear, the buildings strange.

 

 

4. New Europeans

 

The rain falls straight from limestone clouds.

She huddles tight beneath the roof

And stares at puddles, danced with drops.

The bus will come in half and hour.

 

In other years the water fell

On streets she felt she knew too well.

But now they melt around her feet,

Their patterns seem an old deceit.

 

Across the street another bus

Takes other people to the north –

Frustrated, tired and seeking truth,

Or work (whichever comes by first).

 

The rain falls straight, there is no wind.

The bus will come in half an hour.