Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I've cleaned and cut and steamed the kale, mixed in  rice vinegar, cumin and salt, minced apples and walnuts.  I've been out and come back--done the day.  It's ending, and these blear-eyes are barely able to remain open. None the less, turning away from the news--the terrible, terrible news of our world,
reading poems from
"Notes For Lighting A Fire" 
by Gerry Cambridge
one of the featured readers of Sunday.
His first collection in nine years "begins and ends with light's variation--fire: the winter fire in the grate, the fire of the sun at world's edge,  Between these two poles are poems of desire, possession and memory.  Clear-eyed and grave, this is Cambridge's most mature book to date." (www.gerrycambridge.com)
The Great Things

The difference here is space:
your sight gets used to searching horizons:
that speck is a merchant tanker.
Is that dot of a person tourist or local?

To step round the gable at noon is to be hit by a gust
from Ireland.  The house sails like a ship through a squall
rattling the panes of crofts on further islands
smudged below that massive black;
theres a single limelit field.

No child has been born here for fifteen years.
On the West shore
the whiskery congregation, silent, patched with orange, is
an arrested stagger of drunks with a backdrop
of cobalt white-flecked sea
in Atlantic wince-light of the blintering days.

This evening as I walk down the road to the phone
there are spreading gleams on the pewtery plain
to the east, as if some great beast with a roar might emerge
pouring like waterfalls.  Down on the shore
Tommy Mackay's TV is on, from the daub
of light through the pane East Enders' far Fantasia.
On the right as I pass, a meadow-spread back,
Netta waves out from the kitchen window
                            where she washes the plates.
Five miles east she can see as I can, tiny down at the foot of the sky
and striped like a barber's pole or a mint,
drawing the eye right down to it,
North Ronaldsy's lighthouse, late-sunlit--
visibility that means rain.  And in an hour,
while the island's windows wink to rectangles of butter,
the red and silent sun will descend
into the cavernous din of the west.
A brief exclamation of rose, from under the edge of space,
and a sudden gust chill grey.

Elsewhere the great things of the world will be taking place.

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