30 November 2005

            Without You

            I’m riding on a speeding train,
            elsewhere, non-existent,
            in transit between cold station lights.
            You’re a thought, just a thought,
            in my head, and outside blackness is
            screaming past the windows.
            There are people here, passengers,
            faces meaning nothing
            hands eyes strange footsteps mouths
            speaking words collapsing
            here and now and all this while
            all this distance between us
            is closing in swiftly.
            I am here with this need
            for you, and I can’t hear
            can’t see, for me there’s only me
            not even me now that I am
            without you. When this train arrives,
            you’ll be there waiting,
            a thought in my head come alive,
            and true. But in this moment,
            I’m still riding on a speeding train,
            moving fast, and you’re a thought,
            no more, nothing more,
            and I’m alive, suspended,
            hurtling through the blackness,
            nowhere without you.
posted by Gilbert at Wednesday, November 30, 2005 10 comments

24 November 2005

Goya, The Incantation.


              tongue gone dry
              naked behind a blue sheet
              mind woozy
              from whatever they
              shot me with

              count to ten, says
              the green surgical mask
              why don't you
              leave me
              alone -

              last, irrelevant
              before the world


              like an eyelid.
posted by Gilbert at Thursday, November 24, 2005 5 comments

18 November 2005

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People

            Chiang's Heat Stroke

            Told me about the time he got
            Heat stroke, years ago,
            In the army, on a blistering hot day,
            Marching with pack and rifle
            For miles and miles
            To nowhere
            Round and round an eastern island.
            He’d been feeling sick, but
            This was the army
            So nobody believed it.
            Later he had to stop just had
            To stop to drink to rest a while,
            Just to rest a while, so he
            Fell out of file with all these
            Bright white spots
            Swarming in his vision.
            But the PC thought he was
            Faking it, yelled at him,
            Kicked his shins
            And called him a fucking
            Lazy lousy bastard
            So he got up dazed and
            Went on dragging his boots
            On a trail through the
            Soaking hot jungle.
            Later he fell out of line again
            And the PC really lost
            His temper, raised a rifle butt
            To hit him on the head.
            The bright white spots exploded,
            Burst brilliantly like suns
            In his head,
            So that everything else in
            The world went black.
            He couldn't walk couldn't talk
            Couldn't think anything except that
            This was a stupid place to die
            And why couldn't he feel his legs.
            They stripped off his uniform,
            Poured water over his
            Head and chest, slapping his face
            Repeatedly so that he wouldn't
            Faint, and all this time
            He wondered why he couldn’t
            Feel his legs.
            Someone said, "Don't worry, you'll
            Be alright," so many times
            He was sure he wasn't going to be alright.
            And later, the chaotic dreams of
            Flame and ice, metallic gigantic
            Dragonfly wings swirling,
            As they rushed him by chopper
            To the mainland hospital.

            You think of this as one of those things.
            They happen. The years pass,
            And some things about those years Chiang even
            Remembers fondly. But now he tells me
            About his former PC, and he says,
            "I'll never forget him. The lousy bastard."
            He raises his voice just a little, with a touch of hate,
            Repeating the words. "I’ll never forget him.
            Lousy bastard." So matter-of-fact. So clear.
            After all this time, he says it so cold and hard
            You wouldn’t know how not to believe it.
posted by Gilbert at Friday, November 18, 2005 7 comments

16 November 2005

              Warning to a Lover

              Every time you try to change me,
              We run the risk I might.
              Two questions darkly cross my mind,
              So let them cross yours too –
              Could you really love another me,
              And would he, you?
posted by Gilbert at Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10 comments

01 November 2005

Goya, The Colossus

        Garden City

        Let there be trees, the man said, and lo and behold,
        there were trees – rain trees, angsanas, flames of the forest,
        casuarinas, traveller’s palms and more – springing up against
        the steel and concrete of the expanding city.
        Even as the true towers of the city climbed higher
        and higher for the heavens, the trees were planted, transplanted,
        watered, fertilised, and groomed to grow and grow.
        They appeared overnight, abandoned the chaos of jungle,
        bent to the will of man, grew in straight lines, in squares
        and rectangles, in allocated corners, in car parks, along highways,
        outside banks and buildings, faithful to the commandments
        of urban developers. The hard lines of architecture were softened,
        the rain did fall, the green did gently, gently grow,
        and in his seventieth year, the man was pleased,
        as he rested, as he viewed his work, as he felt the weight
        of a nation’s soil run slowly through his old green hands.
posted by Gilbert at Tuesday, November 01, 2005 6 comments