by Anthony Kirby
‘REMEMBER if we preserve our freedom–‘
I have caught myself peering through glasses
At the written world of two millenium’s grace;
My eyes have run the gauntlet, cherishing
The wisdom and folly of inexorable struggles:
Of power and ideology:-
‘Remember if we preserve our freedom by our own efforts, this will
Easily restore us to our old position’.
A wry smile crosses my lips:
The pink of a tainted blue-black sky beckons beyond
The window — and still the knowledge of a city
So far away in time and distance renders
My gains as short and sweet.
So mistaken identities, crass and obscure
Fall neatly into fallen lines, parallels forever
In the endless night, feeding the dead
Who have thus offered up their souls;
Their unseeing eyes and faces grin
‘We know the secret of the earth,
We are the ghosts of the past;
We have tasted the bloodied earth,
We were there when they devastated our lands;
We were there when our children screamed at the advancing hordes;
We heard the demagogues speak with their forked tongues
Licking our wounds with their venomous spittle.
We had no time to spend shedding tears,
We had no time to spray words of helplessness.
We are the whispers or fabrications of the written word.’
Into this new dimension, my probing questing
For fair opinions found little hope.
Blinking; shivers and silence–
No questions as these thieving eyes
A GLIMPSE OF BYZANTIUM
White and pale blue
Form the day
Whist blinded eyes seeking oblivion
And this river overcomes,
The river overcomes.
Hands clasping at the mellowed earth,
Seeking the root,
Thoughts cover their feet with
Dusty roads, all leading to Byzantium.
Stark star-spun nights
Cut across ancient buildings,
Hail, rain and sun; wind snow and frost
Devour, yet the fabric stands.
The alien bricks hold,
The mortar enigmatic
Tells no stories, no stories
Are to be told.
On a high-swept plateau
My hands create
Another frame, another eye
To steal the day before into a future thrill;
My hands shake as they create.
THE DOUBLE CHURCH AT UCAYAK