Posts tagged ‘decay’

15/06/2013

A Balkan Street Scene

 

For several years the street seemed old,

The tired shopfronts never changed.

They clung nostalgic to a time

Of paint and flowers, songs and life.

 

The woman in the orange dress

Has sold her paintings since things changed.

Back then she couldn’t paint enough,

But now her days just pass her by.

 

The men – the three who barely move –

Observe the street and how it’s changed.

They raise their cups to passing girls:

They judge and drink but rarely speak

 

Today is sunny, tomorrow rains,

The street’s the same, the street has changed.

 

 

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02/01/2013

The Echo Sylphs of Winter

 

The day closed in with mist and rain

And hills dissolved as shadow clouds.

The limits of the air and land

Were waters flowing, merged and blurred.

 

The river rolled its mirror heart,

And trout were birds and birds were trout.

As peat-smoke was the mid-day sky:

It sank through depths of weed and pike.

 

A dead tree, shattered by a storm,

Now spiked its bark into the fog.

As fungus drenched its core in spores

And from its tips the tree dripped life.

 

The air was heavy, forests light,

The river floated, day was night.

 

 

08/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Part 1)

 

Beneath the surface of our time

The water works and spreads her song:

In patterned carpets, drifted, dripped,

In crumbled brickwork, lyrics worn.

 

She lives outside the centuries –

The business hours, the closing times.

The lives just pass her by like drips,

As moments in a steady fall.

 

The questions that she sings for us:

Renewal from the slow decay,

The dampness in the air which hangs,

Will last beyond the building’s walls.

 

The steady tap of rain on glass:

The song of lives, the song of pasts.

22/05/2012

“Why do Monsters Cease?”

 

The town wore dust as some wear skies,

Its buildings barely stood on props.

The crumbling had been centuries long.

A rootless people drifted through.

 

Around the town the maquis spread

Obscuring tablets pressed with tales,

And ancient bricks which burnt and broke:

The merest trace of palace walls.

 

Its stories scattered through the world,

With sails for wings and widening eyes.

They drifted off beyond the earth,

Became a breath, became a fear.

 

The truth lies lost beneath the scrub:

A pile of bones reduced to chalk.

 

(The title is from Seneca: Phaedra, 173ff)