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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The layers of earth Thomas, Patrick Hallman 1967

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THE L A Y E R S OP E A R T H  by P A T R I C K H A L L M A N THOMAS B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953 B.Ed., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1957  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR THE D E G R E E  MASTER in  OF  OP  OF A R T S  the  department of  ENGLISH  We  accept  required  this  thesis  as c o n f o r m i n g  to the  standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H April,  1967  COLUMBIA  In the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  British  mission  for reference  for extensive  p u r p o s e s may  be  cation  of  written  Department  of  and  by  degree at  the  study,  the  for  April 2$, 1967  Columbia,  University  agree for  that  of  of •  or  c o p y i n g or  shall  per-  scholarly  Department  that  f i n a n c i a l gain  ENGLISH  Date  I further  Head o f my  fulfilment  s h a l l make i t f r e e l y  this thesis  permission*  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  the  Library  I t i s understood  this thesis  w i t h o u t my  that  c o p y i n g of  granted  representatives.  this thesis in partial  advanced  Columbia,, I a g r e e  available  his  presenting  not  be  by publi-  allowed  i i ABSTRACT  These three (1)  fifty-seven  journeys,  poems a r e  in five  a partial  stages.  c h r o n o l o g i c a l growth through  changes  of  journeys stages, tion  or  divisions, (2)  roundings; (3)  through  interior  the  (1)  i s :  through  social  and  theme:  other  two.  The  i n the  immediate  a wider  sec-  sur-  scene;  involvement  on  sensations,  only possible central  (2)  interior  revealed  of  finally time  are:  environment, with i t s  through  this  of  to the  observation  (4.)  again,  group  from boyhood;  from a view of  (5)  concerns;  shared  and  poems, as  e x p l o r a t i o n of  individual  truly  the  counterpart;  political  journeys  i n v a r i o u s ways  movement o f  of  The  o f p l a c e ; , (3)  p h y s i c a l environment,  relating  record  to  in socio-  a sharper  the  focus  individual's  love.  The  on  only  book has  the  (birth-growth-love-death)  life.  The to  experiences  objects  responses these  feel  but  only as  surface  for  surfaces  the  a l s o the  of  we  of  us  response  and  our  exist social  own  t h i n k by  deep is_ the  into  responses  a network  and  love,  feeling."  one  So, the  And  we  the  or  ("The  can edges)  are  paradoxically, object  We  through  s u r f a c e we  experience.  of  environment,  outside, along  through  layer.  as  our  physical selves.  express,  (inside, are  another  pulls  message.")  mental  "We  basically  beings  explore,  surfaces  s o o n as  the  so  Our  sensation. the  have are  aspects  observe,  and  because  forces.  to physical,  being  receive, sense  or  we  onto  concern  experience; Medium i s  iii The poems t h e n a r e s u r f a c e s , s e n s a t i o n s , And  responses.  a l l of t h i s i s i n a context of "earthness."  "Earth"  i s t h e s t a r t i n g p l a c e and t h e raw m a t e r i a l g r a v e y a r d o f a l l o u r m e n t a l , s p i r i t u a l , and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . experiences,  Our  sensations, imaginings, thoughts, r e a c t i o n s ,  a c t i o n s , hopes, f e a r s , and n a t u r a l - c u l t u r a l environments a r e "but d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s o f one s u b s t a n c e , d i f f e r e n t l a y e r s o f ' o u r own e a r t h .  ourselves,  Our j o u r n e y s and o u r  s t a g e s o f development a r e t r a v e l s t h r o u g h t h e l a y e r s o f the earth. I n s t r u c t u r e , t h e whole c o l l e c t i o n p a r a l l e l s each p a r t , and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e o f each poem.  The  poem l o o k s above and below, w i t h i n and w i t h o u t , ahead and back.  Each s e c t i o n b e g i n s and ends w i t h a poem l o o k -  i n g b o t h ways.  The c o l l e c t i o n b e g i n s w i t h a poem s t a t i n g  t h e "why" o f i t a l l , and ends w i t h t h e " B e g i n n i n g . " main theme o f each s e c t i o n i s i n t e r w o v e n sections.  The  through t h e other  U n i t y i s p r o v i d e d a l s o by r e - o c c u r r e n c e o f  symbols and images, and by a c e r t a i n tone o r p o i n t o f view throughout.  But t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e s o f t h e s e  elements  change w i t h changing c o n t e x t , as t h e poems u n c o v e r successive "layers of earth."  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  PIDDLEHEAD DELTA B.C. C E N T E N N I A L ANTHOLOGY T O N I G H T ' S HOUSE POTLATCH  T A B L E OP  I.  II.  Now  1  . . »  Now  2  Receiving  3  On t h e P o i n t  k  Summer P l a c e  5  Down B e a c o n H i l l  6  Victoria  7  Watching The  III.  CONTENTS  t h e Wind  8  Shell  9  Traveller  10  Tsawwassen I •  11  Tsawwassen I I  12  Message  13  from t h e Suburbs  Observances  14-  Declaration  15  Nature  16  Study  Sudden P a s s i n g  17  •••  18  Seasonal Hawk  19  Hilltop  20  To  21  My F a t h e r  22  Seasons Gulf  Islands  Reminders  2  3 2i|  vi  IV.  25  Exploring Credo  26  Exploration  27  The  28  Placing  Journey  29 30  Totems Derrick  I  31  Derrick  I I  32  University  33  View  of the City  34-  Tour  of the C i t y  35 36  Moth Product  37  of  38  Academic  ko  V. L a m e n t s Cello  4-1  C o n c e r t Maybe  P.ostwar  S.ightseeing  ....  ii3  Easter  44-  Resurrection  45  T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y : A P.R.  4.6  Problem  Have Time  4-7  Letter  4^8  Back  Amulets  •••  Convivial Theatre,  50  Gothic Cafe  49  o r Somewhere  51  Picnic  at Passchendaele  52  Memo:  Re T h e o l o g i c a l  53  Disputation  vii  VI.  Lovings  Bk-  Poetics  55  Event  56  Rock  and Mumble  Polarity  58  Local  Geography  59  the D i f f i c u l t i e s  60  On  Appointment  61  Converse  62  Mountain  63  Mute VII.  57  &k  Conclusion  65  Beginning  66  I  NOW . . .  NOW  My r e a s o n reaches out a c l u t c h of words I must c a t c h q u i c k t h a t sun b i t (slipping down my f i n g e r s t o t h e sinews p a s t t h e eye) :because s u n , a t t h e musty down end o f a day once dawned won't w a i t f o r clumsy hands to f i d d l e with a b s t r a c t i o n .  II  ON THE POINT  Side out  s l i p p i n g down t h e u n s e e n there,  a strident gull a child's  salt  reflects and t a n g l e d  woven i n t h e s w e l l s t i l l  (black  wavering  birds  and  on t h i s  red winged  coast  child  declaiming  . . almost  grass-robes the  true, the  counterpoint  spring;  dart—  the r e s t l e  i n the sun);  but a season of the sea  clay  a n c i e n t broom  of  r i p p l e and  they  and g u l l  cries  spray  gorse-thorned,  .  cliffs  bristles.  SUMMER  Sand  scattered children  fly  their  the  gull  suddenly into of  laughing cries  the  echoes  salad  beyond  dwindle  silent  coils  abo^e  p l a y i n g the a i r ;  afternoon  and  the  high  drops  from c l i f f s i d e Ice  cottages  cream;  twilight  childhooded  a  PLACE  screens  patterns  with  the  gulls;  dark  i n below the  humped b a c k s  sand;  s w e l l the  covering  sea.  DOWN BEACON H I L L  Once we r a n t h e r a g g e d chasing i t s tattered  hill  t o bay,  paths, threading  thickets  broom and g o r s e c u t , c l u t c h e d a t our s l e e v e s . No t i m e f o r q u e s t i o n s  from  the permanent g r a y g u l l s t h a t g a r b l e d repetitious a i r ; no c a r e for in Our  l o v e r s s t a r t e d from t h e i r the blossoming  woven h i l l  nests toward  the sea.  q u a r r y would not s t a y ;  the c a r p i n g b i r d s c o u l d see how l o n g t h e r e a c h i s o f t h e w i s h i n g  shore.  VICTORIA V i c t o r i a , I cannot get a metaphor from you, except perhaps  in shifting  sky,  or the same g u l l , r e s t l e s s , or sea w r i t h i n g In my w r i t i n g In beside the g r a s s - c l o t h e d mounds that f o r t i f i e d  those barked brown f o r e b e a r s  a g a i n s t a l l but cannon's deep i n f e c t i o n or the b l a s t of  raerchantry.  V i c t o r i a , i n t o Maquinna's salmon-yard, his  his berried  worlds,  whale-ward reach,  Cook's f l o w i n g empire whelmed ebbing, l e f t w i t h a new  momentarily;  the s e a - s a l t pastures heavy  breed: hunters of mythology or money,  on the g u l l - w a i l i n g shore where o t t e r s s l i p p e d V i c t o r i a , now slipshod  your spinstermen of l o c a l h i s t o r y  slippered  join  the barbered brokers who  await  t h e i r coming down to j o i n Maquinna's crew.  and  slid,  WATCHING THE WIND Watching t h e d i s s o l v i n g wind a t t a c k t h e sand c l i f f s and t h e b i t t e r n e s s o f s e a - f l u n g below whip g r a s s e s  rocks  pluming  a seashell slant of earth; w a t c h i n g a boy wander, eye f o l l o w i n g t h e s t o n e s h i n e t i m e d by t i d e among t h e s h e l l s ; I r e a c h a l o n g t h e wind t o welcome him but my f e e t f e e l t h e s h i f t i n g  hill,  and banners o f t h e g r a s s a r e a l l t h a t mark t h e d r i v e n a i r .  THE SHELL  Within  t h e noon  sounds  proper  to V i c t o r i a ' s shoaling  waters  dissipate washed  oak b a y  t h i s hushing  from  there  from  some where  long  away:  an u n d e r c u r r e n t sounds t h e deep  city.  still  tide  TRAVELLER  The  y e l l o w broom  explodes  summer by s e a : waves o f echo s p l a s h the town. Summer's end spouts dry b l a c k pod-seed s p u t t e r e d i n t o the raked out dun  gardens,  guarded past a p i c k e t gated r i c k e t The  fence.  ocean'a v i o l e t doom r o l l s i n  evening  on the town: a muffled pounding underneath  the boundaries  o f mind.  TSAWWASSEN: "NEAR T H E S E A " I  The  coils  along  o f t h e open ocean  t h e causeway, tidal  and  u p o n a man-made  beach.  many walk  t h e fence  the driftwood  barbed wire  But  sway  gulls not  past  currents  rest,  sullen  Only  wind  gulls  belong  here  holding a world  on t h e jumbled  shore,  or in  a spray  of wind, eyeing  the  tide  crushing  rocks shift  of s e a .  away.  i n a motion  12  TSAWWASSEN: "NEAR T H E S E A " I I  The  shoulders  o f t h e open ocean  against This  threatened gulls  a crumple  point  o f rock  was l e f t  glimpse  t h e h i g h w a y now s h o o t s  beyond  an I n c i d e n t a l some w r i n k l e d  fumbles A ragged  for native  denizens;  arrow-straight  turning by-gone way  o f f , out of sight, church,  and d r i f t w o o d ;  an underbrush o f s h e l l s  Inland  where  push  a s t i l l  past:  the world,  half-unsubmerged  canoe.  and s h e d s .  MESSAGE PROM THE SUBURBS  Outside our columned  cells  upon a decent street, the poplars' f l y i n g pages scatter into yellow broom before our eyes can weep; (none of our brightness shafts the a i r , nor do we reaching find the roots of springs); t h i s drone, ourselves ourselves, w i l l buzz,  repeat,  i t s f r i t t e r e d newspring leavings from a schoolish past to worry this late afternoon; perhaps there w i l l be a new p i l l a r of or something l i k e a f i n a l flowering of a some how the clocks are counting backward to  Ill  OBSERVANCES  15  DECLARATION  t  Through f o r e s t , wind, my l a b o u r e d  and  fire,  earth  breathes  i t s best  below yet  will  block  the going  will  pursue  the flame  o f a moment bleeds  and  earth w i l l  has but  b r i n g seed  our pinch  drains the hearth  of of  light incense,  and f o r c e  within No enemy t h e h e a r t  flight,  drives i t on,  that or  the impulsed  leaf,  pebble,  purple  departure, sparkling  from the sea.  shell.  NATURE STUDY  That  black  dead  branch:  watch i t reach this  Will  i tstop?  window.  SUDDEN P A S S I N G  bleak  marsh  flat:  stripped harsh  grassj  sudden s u n : on w e t s o i l a crackle or  flashes  back  i n t h e eye  one b l e a c h e d  fragment  sparks  a memory o f m i n d . In  this world  l i m b s bone stalk  thin  trees,  brittle,  stiffly  crippled,  t o g e t a grip,' o r  paralyze  into  questions,  while steadily like  the half  syllables  merged  across  fence  a printed  posts  march  field.  SEASONAL  The  hours have d r i f t e d o f f  t o woodsmoke  Tarnished  The  leaves  crinkle  l a d y i n dry pepper  trundles Ivy  fall.  h e r dog a l o n g  clings  to cold  the a i r .  tweeds the  stone  boulevard.  walls.  19,  HAWK  It  hangs  or  s t a n d s on p i n n a c l e s  only  Its  above us  eyes  embrace t h e w o r l d ,  swings  across  the airlined  The with  paths,  down t o t r e e t o p s ,  probes (the  ofa i r ;  t h e e a r t h moves u n d e r i t .  vision  rays  there,  t o u n d e r b r u s h and  space view  between  roots  t h e branches has t h e meaning).  f r o m s p a c e h a s n o t t o do  beauty  or with  mercy.  HILLTOP  Dead  uprooted  cut-down bodies  (the  once  boy  mark t h e j a g g e d into This  a i r once v i b r a t e d  balanced but  Below,  grasses  upon) blasted  the  murmurs i n t o a l l t h e  echoed mosses  on t h e sound  and  tops  of  senses:  drying,  nothing  sunlight.  just  beyond  the boy's r e a c h  o f t r e e s once t u f t e d  out,  up  a move o f a i r passed  o f f t o shadow on t h e t e x t u r e d s e a .  Three houses flat and  road.-edge  forest  pavement.  flower  in  leaned  of the  stand  there  now,  blank g l a s s t o seaward,  the road nuzzlers  to carry  quick  i n the l a t e  b l a c k n i g h t , windows  closed.  TO  In I  any  faith  should not  under the  slide  of cedars  at the c l i f f  they melt while  back  gulls  some l i g h t I  question your  summer o r s h a r p  stops  l i f t will  s h i n e on  into  and  waxen h i v i n g  our  numbered  our grave  through.  skin,  the f a l l i n g  scaled  more  memory remember t o  "vein o f t r e e  or blood  t h e moment o f t h e  your  my  fingers  will  instruction,  of  images.  to grasp  and  of f i s h ,  brain,  am w i l l i n g  in  turns;  a i r  I w o n d e r : i n t h e no will  sun  flower,  to consider i n imprinted  and  branches:  rust  reach f o r the r e s t r a i n t driven  shaken  green;  filter  am  going  edge; the  to  but  I  MY F A T H E R  noon, remember?  singing  earth; be  seeking  your persuasion.  forest,  nerves  SEASON'S  Hummingbird fuchsia  passes:  flowers  above  stillness dry  grasses.  GULF ISLANDS  These  sleeping  animals,  unidentifiable,  slide  serpent  in  t h e s e w h i t e w a t e r s where  Is  i t they  t h e wake  to  and f l o a t i n g  one h a s opened swirl  so f a r .  and  pass  coil  beyond  my f a b u l o u s Not  intertwine  we  shape  u s down  island?  a great  jaw  and d i s a p p e a r u s —  REMINDERS  These twigs leafless  that  grow  on w i n t e r  peculiarly  trees  surrounding  us  under the cloud are doubtful our  silhouettes  adam manned  agains  Imagining,  25  IV  EXPLORING  CREDO  Come t o t h e e d g e o f t h e u n c o m f o r t a b l e s e a I,  s t i l l ,  d i dnot, y e t , believe;  but the  stone-neighbourhooded  the  undulating  more r e a l t h a n and  s e a became n o t c o l d  green w o r l d wavered  around  earth,  the shore r e s i s t e d  a l l my  trials.  my  EXPLORATION  In  a shell  nerves the  of  finger  skin out strange  i n s i d e o f t h e mask.  In  this  of  concealment,  years yet  contours,  unknown and k n o w i n g  pass  toward  nothing  slowly the roots  of  country  left;  trees,  slowly  the smell of petals of roses,  slowly  the colours o f morning a i r  creep  through  crevices,  slide  through  faults  from t h e i r  And  own s h e l l e d  fissures,  world  i n t o something e l  down t h e b o n e ,  along the  and  the muscled  f a rworld  blood,  I see  leaving i t s print  on t h e b r a i n .  THE  I  seek exact  now  location;  t h a t m a t h e m a t i c s moves on  co-ordinates  are  o n l y on  Intersect  t h e b o n e and  where the  rivers  I  hear  but  a purple  old old  mappings  muscle;  the heart run  eagle  and  brain  perhaps they w i l l s t i l l ,  with  the the  I ' l l  out  a serpent  does not  nerves  the  and  ride  off  the the  adorn  what h o l d s  arteries  g i v e up  leave  past  the  constantly  cry;  belong  in  location.  (But  and  of  l e a v e them  this Say  PLACING  in  in  an  the whales  i t a l l together circle  the  short sharp  of  struggle  incognita land, and  serpent  the  wind.  edges, corners  borders.  parallel?)  f o r now  brain  the  eagles  JOURNEY  Tenth Ave. i s so w e l l you  lighted  c a n l o o k up b u t n o t s e e a n y s t a r l i g h t ,  farther  out i t ' s darker,  you  more  see  (clouds,  but only  Today i n the p a l e I  time  so  perhaps). winter  lack-light  the philosophers  i n their  but nearer that  t h e s e a , and tree  leans  or the  any  am  past  if  now  earth  tilts.  wonder  chambered  faculties,  TOTEMS  A surround ready,  of thunder  poised,  follows  the brooding  solid.  Unseen, under t h e moss, a r e c u r v i n g fingers in  the carved  shadow hands  no hands Today the  once  the long rain  where (no  that  t o hear  surged  on  cedar  wound  i n the mists  trees  now g r o w  can help  them  and v a n i s h a n y more,  the forest).  o u r t o t e m s move a n d s h a p e u s t o  listening  circuitry.  beak,  DERRICK  I  A giant  insect  perched  and p i c k i n g  the  girdered  only the slow of  clean  skeleton;  swing  the stretched  neck  sinewed tells  of  the directing cell  the  micro  downward eyes  into  downward  probe  hooked some  brain;  tongue  last  matter.  hunts  down  DERRICK II  Still: at d a y s end 1  l i n e s and on a f l a t blank sky.  angles  UNIVERSITY  Hybridized te  bustled  mini-chrome  clacketing  out  deified  dirt  and  by  plaster  involuted  i t s mod of  taints,  images  of  serenity;  course ancestruous actiom;  its  theory-coated s t r o l l e r s  the  mental  mossways i n t h e  pander  down  muddle o f  the  VIEW  In  the box o f paradise,  motion brings I  have  felt  dimensions my f i r s t  swell to  cold  spent  The  o f heaven  and hell;  a thickened  atmosphere,  i n c r e a s e d masses  eels  skeletal  before  of here,  upward,  penetrate  mountains  moist  or liquidity  and d i m e n s i o n s o f a  t h e tumulus  (Once  CITY  mourning:  the size  thrust  mountains  I  OP T H E  of time.  slid  their  trembled i n their birds  beat  dreaming  neighbourhood,  energy  upon a dream o f h o u r s . )  mountains  stare:  lights  trickling  from  some s p r i n k l e b a c k  i n the starred  and  the l a s t  of sunlight  the  slow sides  slide  and  ridged.  hills,  down  o f m o u n t a i n , snowed  wave and wave, b o t h edged  ooze,  roots,  i n the hot green  t h e o l d man's itself  and  the a i r ,  and p u l s a t i n g  follow  ways t h r o u g h marsh  and  floating,  35  TOUR OP T H E  My c i r c l e d envisages  eye r e s i s t s itself  CITY  the stratosphere,  beyond  t o inward.  W h e r e a r e t h e summer d a n c e r s The  last  we l u r e (the  geographers  cornucopia streets blank  at  all.  candle  melts into  back windows'  burns  are  the crippled  men  past?  depart;  alleys;  disappeared)  stare  t h e o n l y answer  beckoning  i n space,  and consumes your  My f l a m e I  and music  o u r s e l v e s down e c h o e d  and  A  from  body. divides  too thrust  thesky;  e a r t h y welcome  into  beyond  t h e s e e i n g and s e n s a t i o n ;  circle  w i t h me  reflective  i n the cold  drops  the stars  spark—  on m o o n l i t w i n t e r  trees.  and  light  MOTH  Out no  there fire  no f o l l o w e r ,  t o warm o r c r a c k l e  the  heart  or f l u t t e r e d  out  there  anxious I  up  wings;  swerved  through weaving a i r , something brushed  despair, small  wings  and  held  halfway between,  and  moving,  now  my  my  and  circle  my  heliotropic  to  magnify  intersects senses  a pinch  of  flame  me there  itself,  a l l compound light.  PRODUCT  blonde  girl  genuine r a i n  your  haloed  hair;  oxford  accent  looks (I  not  plastic  Vancouver  in  wet  ceremonially  f o r t e a ceremony  look  but  you  OP  sets  f o r you) with imitation  wicker  girl want  the r e a l  the Ginza  on R o b s o n  Shop  Strasse  British Columbia near False  Creek.  thing  handles  ACADEMIC  There  i s some  risk travelling these  : throw i tback i n t o  days  mythology and s a y  if  we r o d e b a r e b a c k p e g a s u s  t h o s e h e r o head  lines  our  t h e shape  selves  into  (but bridled),  might have  drawn  of reigning hunters or  : natural history (the  difference  comes t o o u r a s s i s t a n c e  between sacred  oak and i v y and  poison is  chiefly  and p o i s o n  oak and i v y  i n our r e a c t i o n t o i t c h ; oak d i f f e r s  but by  syllable from  poison gas). And  In Pact, add  two symbols t o  poison : o b v i o u s l y y o u g e t a new all  you can use i s the science  position  of linguistics.  I have seen b o d i e s f a l l l i k e c a t s , l i k e dogs, from s k i e s w i t h no c l o u d ; b r i g h t n e s s does now  fall  i n deed f r o m a i r ; t h e winged h o r s e s t r u g g l e s f o r b r e a t h , so I s h a l l s t a y w i t h i n t h e s a f e r faculties, and keep my l e a v e s i n o r d e r on t h e s h e l f .  LAMENTS  C E L L O CONCERT M A Y B E  Nerves wind  of pain  tight  to hold  this  not  burst,  zap  apart  or  city  to a  centre—  b l a s t , and f l y  d r i b b l e o f fa t t h e edges.  Would The  you melt i n a  tracks  cloud?  of trains torn,  up o r d o w n t h e n a i l s  held;  the  twitch  player's  uselessly, thighs  I  feet  crossed,  strain.  can s e l l  can g i v e , while  fingers  pain  or buy,  can give,  busses rumble  across  the red rails  or  look  f o rflowers  to  say that  it  would  pain  s m o o t h l y on o f t h e bone and  i n the reeling night:  must s t o p  be c r u e l l e r  blood  than  (like pain.  that)  Incensed  a i rfrom  threads  my  acrid self  (religious penetrate But  sharp,  as w e l l  t h e membraned  close  can s u r e l y skeleton).  can—  harsh,  the  twist  Let  me  and  smoke  around i t ;  make i t c l o s e  —only  (the  distance  o f word  peel  shapes  back  sears  of nerves  brain  sight.  the chemistry  on t h e t e n s i o n  my m u s c l e d  into  of clothing,  are plain),  of a pitched  string  into contortion's  thrus  calm.  P.0STWAR S.IGHTSEEING  Leaves s u r r o u n d t h e f i e l d  now:  the burnt past whispers; b i r d s hang i n t h e a i r , d r i f t o f dead wind. R e s t l e s s , we h e s i t a t e , o b s e r v e  still  peace, i n t h e caked a a r t h ; s t i f f wry branches beckon even u s to l i e together i n t h e c r a t e r * s pocket.  EASTER  X marks t h i s  yearly  we  come h e r e  regular  it  seems t o be a l i v e  perhaps  place; as  our paths and  d i d cross  now i t ' s h a r d  which  one, though  some s e e d i e r ;  someone has t a t t e r e d  clockstop;  the round  clientele the edges;  before of course,  to  tell  is»  In  a n y one c a s e  to  see that  so  shelled  i t must be t i m e  jesus  added  death t o spring;  i n each hour's  we w a i t i n s u n o n t h i s  indeed  crowded  bright  metaphor  brittle  day.  45  RESURRECTION  This  crag  of a sick  man  fumbles h i s creaking is his  no more tatters  notable, hang a t every  A broken glass no but  he  o f house  crossing.  believes  tears collapsed reflection of unreal  love's And  corner,  timed  eyes,  memory i n t h e sweep o f e m p t i e d s u n .  should  there  w o u l d be o n l y  be f e v e r  of f l e s h  bold  enough t o s t a y cornered  i n the sepulchre  sun.  ii6  TWENTIETH  The a  brain  m i g h t g a g on  computer f i n g e r i n g  until  nerves  Cancel lest  breath  lament but that  a  PROBLEM  bodies;  statistics  r u no u t .  the a i r  some c u r s e  The  C E N T U R Y : A P.R.  release from the unborn, unthought  i s only  f o rthe willing  e v e n some o f t h e m incantation small  needle  shorting  o f , dead;  properly,  suspect  lies.  ones c o u l d  most d a n g e r o u s l y be  i n the brain out the necessary  current.  HAVE T I M E  Have  time.  W h a t u s e i s now t o u s ? All We all we  left have  i s personal  and s h o r t .  seen n o t h i n g  the great  stir  night while  beyond  along  the laddered  The  faded  dears  called,  the  l o n g a i r , where  But  ears  a cold  on  the vacant  we  dare  echoed  t h e edge o f  of a  gods w i t h  fingers  ago.  history  careworn cottage  eyes windows  space—  where g a l a x i e s have whined blind  down  now;  margin  like  of ancestors.  the love-roughed  not use our drawn-blind  balancing on  years  moon, a t h o u g h t  a r e deaf  shout  i n the l i b r a r y  looked  caressing  a  fear.  and  shot  were  48  LETTER BACK  Lost t o t i m e ^ reach we d i d b l e n d o u r bones w i t h ( l o s e r )  Mercury;  unseen beyond t h e f l a s h p o i n t we saw h i s t o r y r a c k o u t i t s unknown ages i n t h e d a r k ; when f i r e f i n g e r e d crooked i n t h e eyes our b l i n d n e r v e s r a i s e d t h e h e a r t s t o n e a l t a r s , s i f t e d ashes a i m l e s s l y from t w i s t i n g r o c k , above t h e unhinged  graves.  We have found a t l a s t bare bones o f a l e s s o n l e g e n d t o r n from  schoolbooks.  49  AMULETS  The b i g g e r to  somewhere  : into  its  the  rebounds  i n a fashion with  feather,  umbrella  surely  Garden  hat, plasti-protected,  man w i s e  fuzzy  visibly,  else  the Coffee  a Tyrolean its  drops bounce, a t l e a s t  and i n s u r a n c e  he w i l l  raindrop's  not suffer weapon?  journal; from  C O N V I V I A L GOTHIC  Across  the  shielded  teacups,  by  a line  of  table,  stare  of  linen  faces, an  enamelled  blank  as  glaze  a manufactered  the  guest  unrelenting  towels, gathering  ordinary  thing  T H E A T R E , C A P E , OR  Smoke r i s e s  from votive  blood-shapened on w a l l s cubes motley  glows;  write  laughlessly  ofa i r ;  rattle  i n the cup;  dancers  mock t i m e ' s and  points  SOMEWHERE  ignore  i n the throat  stretched t h e crowned  arms, italics  i n thea i r .  P I C N I C AT  Tearing  apart  thoughtfully  PASSCHENDAELE  the cold provided  who w e l c o m e t o u r i s t s we  consume l o c a l  the sold  paper  at a reasonable  a r e no  i n that  rate  from  p l a t e s engraved w i t h  there  remaining  by our hosts,  history  on a p p r o p r i a t e  we r e a d  chicken  occasions, carnivores  district.  SOUVENIR, and  MEMO: R E T H E O L O G I C A L D I S P U T A T I O N  As  f o r me,  sensible of  send  this:  of follies,  platitude  and  bereft  a n d dogma o n c e  I  prized,  ( C h r i s t - l i f e s 1) let like has  love  fall  light, passed  fast  before  exploding  the hours  night  o f humankind  wide  VI  POETICS  Your are of  thighs,  stripped  girls  about  arbutus  i n growing  their  curves  curve  and weave  and a i r m o v i n g  own a n d man's  among t h e f i r m  there's  flesh-  and r e p e a t i n g  the growing,  through In  love,  metaphor  tinged, as  my  something  and s i l k e n dead  and  resounds  mind. curves brittle-sharp.  :  Once when I f e l t  EVENT  the green  world  and  reaching  w i t h i n your  eyes,  Y o u b u r n e d ray c o v e r l e t o f w o r d s  away:  Young  and  afraid, I  d r e w my  sleep  around  me.  57  R O C K AND MUMBLE  Do t w e n t y this in  cacophonic  madscrap  centuries lead t o  scramble  rag-tag-time  into  dirges?  We b r i n g t o a n e m a s c u l a t e d the  billed  bored  walk  paraphernalia  globally  gives  life  symphony o f s e l l i n g  corrugation's  it  some s u c c i n c t s a l v a t i o n  salvation  o f any ages, w i t h significant:  syncopotency.  of course  POLARITY  A fantasy flashed lasts  of your  i n silver  shape  passion  o f my  But  now  the  urgency of  our  isomeric  cloud,  i n the s p l i t ,  but f o r the love  the  i n a  own  the wind  charged a i r , takes  to dischar  imagination.  what l i g h t n i n g  rod can d r a i n  away  earth?—  bodies  charge  themselves.  L O C A L GEOGRAPHY  On  snow-spent  here my  river's  spring  that  ocean  of  yells  nights meets  stars  and  spouts  from  the moist  to  the  f a r t h e s t p r o b i n g urge  Up  the  inward  your the  rounds  precipice  and  hot  sparks  that  shivers  mountain.  night,  rivulets,  f o r e s t darknesses  with  of  of  from  i n the  are  sprayed  the milky sea.  inlet  way  ON T H E D I F F I C U L T I E S  OF COMPOSING  VERSE  OR  ACTRESS R E L A X I N G I N A NIGHT  SPOT  Locked  back  words  of the black-encircled  eyes  wind,  reverberate cluster  from  to gather  walls, i n t o —  twist t o — slipshod to  strained  liberate  or by l u r i d or  self, metaphor l e a p  by s t r a i g h t  or by heaven  attempt  sharp  l i e down  stab  over, attack  together.  61  APPOINTMENT  It  i s almost  you on a  better  a r e n o t where I  am;  the crest of the flowing splash  rushes fills  of cars  away t h e shapes  of others,  my  Isolated  body.  b y my own r e p e a t e d  angry atmosphere  and b e a t i n g  I  await  no l o n g e r  they  n o t now s a y t h e  things  unless  are newly  true f o r now.  need  or f a r ,  I will old  b u t no  the space  beside  near  street  battering, self,  what happens  t o me  other  CONVERSE  Tulips unfold slowly i n the  early  light,  from budding curving to  hands,  mouths  but  to the then  ominous  more;  dark gentle flames  bloom a t  night.  MOUNTAIN  Prom the mountain, tiger carries  his illusionary  visonary black tail  and  senses  tightened, tall  and  grasses,  between bamboo),  s h a d e s h i s own head  yellow  belly,  (slipping sliding  and  swinging  track  down,  to the valley  snarls  the intermittent brightness.  6LL  MUTE  My b l i s t e r e d  mouth:  an i c a r u s of tongue and l i p s or f i s h drowned i n i t s b o i l i n g s e a .  VII  BEGINNING  Crabwise, the  tide  beside  me  pebbled other  sidles  a shell  laggard i n the  beside  me  I  hear  in  the  beach  shifts;  capillaries  caught  robed  back from  collapse;  scuttlers, killing  air  crouch seaweed;  a tick  inexorably  and  a green  slight world  crackle; shrivels.  

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