Thursday, 31 July 2008

looking back

like fishermen who tell tales of
the one that got away

18, 19... something like that
wandering randomly and alone through the rain forest
in my t-shirt and shorts

I stumble into a circle of pipe-smokers
with amazing faces
like rock that has weathered a thousand years of sand erosion
ten or fifteen of them
passing the pipe from one to the next
their eyes go down to depths in me unknown to myself
but I sit down with them and smile ridiculously

moving onwards
18, 19... something like that
it does not occur to me to be frightened about anything
wandering randomly and alone through the rain forest
in my t-shirt and shorts...
and my beach sandals

walking from a clearing into an area of dark forestation
I happen to look back behind me
and there silouetted against the clearing sky
I see I have just walked right under

a spider
whose body area is the size of a junior basket ball
and whose leg span is easily a meter
squatting motionless
on the centre of
a web that spans from the upper trunk of a palm tree on one side
of the path
to the upper trunk of a palm tree on the other side

the fronds of its web look like coarse string
everything is scaled up
just like something I saw as a child trying to get out of the bath
but 50 times as big

still, 18, 19... something like that
it does not occur to me that where there is one
there are likely to be several

and after giving the spider its due respect
for having had the decency to not drop on me
I plod happily on
beside the crocodile infested creek
and out to the deserted sandy shore
that provides a colouring pencil outline
to the north eastern coast
of that extraordinary island

for some reason
which looking back
is inscrutable to me
I spent a week or so in the rain forest
and did not come to any harm

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Song

W.B.Yeats poem, The Song of the Wandering Aengus.
"I went out the hazel wood,
because a fire was in my head,
and cut and peeled a hazel wand,
and hooked a berry to a thread."

W.B. Yeats was an Irish poet and key figure in 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and English literary establishments, Yeats also served as an Irish Senator. He was also important to the Irish Literary Revival, and founded the Abbey Theatre. In 1923 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation".

Yeats greatest works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).