Soujin (rainbowjehan) wrote in absurdword,

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Some poetry, oddly.

On the Cathedral Pines Day-Trip

There in the tall pines, towering up to the sky--and I
Wondered why they called it 'Cathedral'
Because the Cathedral was

c o l d

And dark and dusty and full of filtered light
Muted red and green and blue with
With an old smell of oldness, of
And this was not a Cathedral at all, for it was
Impossible to smell
Anything at all

It was a picture, looking up, and there was music playing
Like the soundtrack of an animated film
The sun-lined, half-gold needles shaking gently
The pale sky like a solid ceiling
Soft and lovely and forever
You could hear it

So this was not a Cathedral at all--

Well, there in the tall pines, towering to the sky--and I
Wondered why they put it in a little book
Under a little heading
And called it a little thing:

Because a day-trip is

s u m m e r

And white beaches and white silk skirts and pastel shawls
And white silk suits for gentlemen
With tall, calm grasses waving on dunes, and a simple blue sea
Making white-foamed waves
And the smell of salt-water taffy, packed in little cardboard boxes
With wax wrappings and funny faded pictures on the boxes
And lighthouses. And this
was not a day-trip at all, for it was
Green and brown and gold
And far from the

It was a moment,
Like the time before you open your eyes when you wake up from a dream
Just before you realise the bed is
Too hot or
Too cold
And it's early but the alarm's ringing
There was a frozen second of it, when the wind blew a little stronger and the sun
Shone a little hotter
And the soundtrack ended and a bird sang
But you wanted it to keep playing

So it was not a day-trip--

So, there in the tall pines, towering to the sky--and I
Wondered why we stopped there just before we went home
Because it was meant to be looked at
And we were meant to go back to the cabin
And sit in the wicker-wood chairs
Or out front, by the lake, and
Think about it

Because going home is

f o r g e t t i n g

Or getting nostalgic and remembering things differently
It's driving the motorcar back where you came from
With the last newspapers of 'vacation'
In the front seat
With someone's radio
Playing old songs that make you feel hot and restless
Because you know you're leaving
With blanket tents in the backseat to keep off the sun, and too many people crowded in
And shouting and squealing and fighting
With last-minute ices to remember the place by
This was

Not meant to go home with, for it
Was wild magic
With the soundtrack hushing and the wind making whirrr in the trees
And the sky darking as a cloud
Went over the sun
And you were meant to go back to the cabin
To stand on the dock looking over the lake and think
Of the wild magic
How different it was, how the photograph will stay forever and get
Faded and brown
How the soundtrack ended quietly at the end, with the smoke-blue sky
It grew quiet, in a way, and yet stayed loud
With the whistling of the bird and the whirrr-shhhhing of the branches

So it was not meant to go home with--

But we did.

And there in the tall pines, towering to the sky--well,
I wondered why
A hundred thousand times, I wondered why, and
Why 'Cathedral'
Why 'day-trip'
Why go home?

But I

O u t



The unclear, wild sound of the click-clack-snap
And the clap
As the rattling marbles were shaken in a wooden cup
And in the shadows, the fire leapt up
And the flute, wooden and smelling of smoked meat and wine
Played and played and made the sign...

Here in the mountains, tossed and spun
The dry pine needles mix with the crackle of fall
Matches dropped in the dark snow say
Someone has been by and tried to stay
But they never do; the wind chases them all
And no one finishes what he's begun

Alone with the hundreds of thousands of eyes
Spiders and squirrels and curious crows
They wrap in their furs and try to sleep
But they never do; the snow is deep
And in the nighttime the pine tree sews
A pattern in the black clothes that are the skies

The harsh, trilling words of the saw-pull-shriek
And the squeak
Of the tuning of guitars in the empty inn
Where silence made an echoing din
And the doors that were rotting once were strong:
Among the smell of old travellers, they played the song...


The Clocks

When the world was doused with darkness
And the light in the sky was put out with copper snuffers
Stray wisps of smoke wreathed the chimneys
Laughing at the folk who slept inside
The empty houses
With their
Curtains drawn

A poet sat on a hill beneath a tree above a town
And, lord of what he saw,
Was ruler of all the town, but had not in his possession
A single tree
He wrote blank verse in neat handwriting on a lined-paper page
And told the heavens
What he thought about them
It was all compliments, but they never smiled

A fool slept in a haybarn in the town
Warm and dry and safe
Though the sky was put out for the night, he was dreaming of
And of the clean wind of the ocean where once
By forgetting to get off the cart at the right city
He went to the seaside
And spent a day in the foam with his trouser cuffs rolled up
And felt the sand between his toes
But he would never do it again, for
He had to work to get home again

A wife watched her husband sleeping beside her in the town
A pillow, where their hair
(Unbound and uncut) spread
Across the pillow until the two shades of brown that were the same
Melted into one moment of a rippling
She wept into her hands to see him smile in his sleep
And know she was awake
But he looked so happy that she broke her heart
With joy

An artist painted in the dark outside the town
Surrounded by a ring of
Mushrooms, where they sprang up overnight to keep out the
The magic seemed to pretend to be stronger that the real world outside
Where she put her hands out and took hold of air
But inside her circle, there was only
Of dripping paint to hold on to
Between the round white mushrooms, tall thin grass grew
And she tried to paint the world in the dark
Though it was doused with darkness
She only painted Night

A gipsy stood guard over his caravan beside the town
Standing in another circle, but of painted wooden walls
And thick cloth tents
Where all was warm and promised home
And sometimes he looked over to the walls to read the writings
Written only by men's hands, not angels'
The breathing of many bodies
He picked out the sound of his son, soft and sweet
And recalled clever black eyes
And a faerie's hands
Picking swollen, half-rotted berries in a field of spiky grass

A serving-girl brushed her hair in the moonlight by her window in the town
Letting her working hands feel soft
For a slight moment, touching chestnut curls
Fifty strokes, and then one-hundred; a goddess or a queen by moonlight,
With a silken chemise and a lovely smile
Waiting for a moonlight caller
For she believed in such things, though she was fully thirty-two
And too old for dreaming

An old man stood in a clock shop beneath the town
A son, a brother, a father, a grandfather
With too many
Little hands to wave at him when he walked through town than
Could be counted
And in the clock shop, he carved clocks with faces
And little hands, waving, waving
When the sun was high or when the world was doused with darkness
Waving in the sun or in the dark
He promised gold clocks to the hands, and clocks that
Sang on the hour
Clocks that laughed and clocks that ticked, tired of being
Time in a box
So he put on his spectacles and sat at his table, thinking of waving hands
And carved in the darkness, with a candle
And a thin knife
Carved poets and fools and wives and artists
Gipsies and maids and old men
And they all belonged to him, they and all their waving

He smiled solemnly in the candlelight: they
All belonged to him

And in all the world, doused with a bucket of darkness
No, there was no one who knew
That an old man was smiling
In the candlelight

And though
The light in the sky was put out and stray wisps of smoke
Still wreathed the chimneys
Laughing at the folk who slept inside the
Empty houses
With their curtains drawn
Neither the light nor the smoke nor the folk inside
The empty houses knew
That an old man was smiling,
And they all belonged to him.
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