Posts tagged ‘travelogue’

05/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 6 – With the Swallows of the Sky)

 

1. A Mountain Pass

 

The poetry is closing in

And trapping words in limestone blue.

In mountain forests, catching clouds,

Words lose meanings, clouds lose rain.

 

The air is pulled through lips and teeth:

It bites the throat, it takes a road

Of sunlit snow through mountain tops.

The sounds may form, the thoughts will not.

 

How will I find a voice for this,

This pass which crosses through the peaks?

It used to be the only way,

Now purposeless its tracks are still.

 

As evening gathers clouds and flow

We hear the night birds call the snow.

 

 

2. The Impossible Swallows of Mount Razor

 

Against the backdrop of these cliffs

The swallows seem impossible.

As morning lights the highest peaks,

The swallows swirl and dance the more.

 

Because we know all this will end

We breathe the pollen scent of trees,

Make crystal memories of streams:

We try to find the solid ground.

 

Too soon the wings will fold and furl.

We’re living in the past again:

The passing through, the sleepless dreams.

We’ll stare at walls and hear the calls.

 

I close my eyes, there’s nothing there

But mountain birds in mountain air.

 

 

3. Ljubljana Airport

 

So this is where it all begins

(And for all that, it’s where it ends).

The spirit drifters check on through

To other times, to brand new lives.

 

The Forest Man is watching planes:

He has his papers and his pass.

You see the girl who shifts and frets?

She can’t believe she won’t be back.

 

You see the woman dressed in grey?

Her mysteries mean so little now.

She longs for shadows, hugs the wall.

The angel at her shoulder weeps.

 

A palimpsest of all who pass:

This stone and steel is first and last.

 

 

 

4. Sky Layers

 

The edge of air lays curved and dark:

An empty hell of frozen lungs.

Above the highest birds and planes:

A point where science fiction ends.

 

Beneath the earth-rim, filters fade

The black of space – a lighter grey.

It sucks the clouds up from below:

Their hazing emptiness is filled.

 

Then further down through mists, the clouds

Begin congealing, blowing knots,

And twist themselves in rain and storms:

There, where light and silence stops.

 

And last – inconsequential – lies

The thinnest layer, the layer of lives.

 

 

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02/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 1 – Flight Path)

 

1. Terminal Three

 

How many nations can I see?

The beautiful and elegant,

The tattooed men and sleeping girls,

The drone of talk, the hum of planes,

 

(An aircon migraine coming on),

An altered world of wait-then-move,

A place where hats are worn indoors.

There is no smell. We wait, we move.

 

The people twitch and spark with life,

They watch for signs, they read the eyes:

An underscore of doubt and fear,

An overtone of joys postponed.

 

Here sound and light have coalesced.

Here everyone seems somewhere else.

 

 

2. In Flight

 

We know outside this metal skin

We’d die before we took a breath.

A wind beyond our earth-tied ken

Would rip our lungs and heart apart.

 

The red and green of near sleep,

Of drifting in a patterned haze.

A droning engine lulls our eyes,

Our senses mingle with the skies.

 

We plunge, we sleep, whichever comes.

We roll and tip out from the edge.

Adrift are certainties and hopes:

Out there the heedless rush of clouds.

 

The end of everything is air:

Just half a foot and we’ll be there.

 

 

3. Air Flow

 

Beneath us now there may be sea,

There may be history, may be land.

We are above, we are beyond:

A netherworld of curvatures.

 

We are the Europe – light on wings –

Where sun and moon are never dimmed,

A floating swirl of immigrants,

Where every heart is foreign born.

 

The clouds stretch on to Belarus

In fragile mountains, streams of breath.

Beneath are curious, earthbound things

With buried feet and downward eyes.

 

Our continent is shrinking fast,

It’s upside down, it never lasts.

 

4. Turbulence

 

It stopped

……………..and for an instant

……………………………………..droP

……………………………………………Ped

 

a sound not far frOM God rang out

it COULD have been my heart or

…………………………………………..mouth

 

………….have been a passing

it could                                           breath

 

a rainbow MADE of solid air

a story told by broken WINGS

A

….thought of

………………….something

………………………………….something missed

or mayBE just my final spark

 

The sky had claimed another prayer

Another slip in time again

The fraud

…………….of flight EXPOSED by clouds

concrete

a                      enemy of

…………………………….grey

 

I quickly learnt the simple

……………………………………truth:

I’m made for walking on the Earth.