21 Oct 2013

Excerpt from ‘Little Gidding’ – TS Eliot

[1888–1965, Born in Britain, migrated to America]

We shall not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.

Source: Eliot, TS 1943, ‘Little Gidding’, Four Quartets, Harcourt (US).

Blind Date. Bees – Philip Salom

[1950–current, Australian]

When he mentions the Right Names
she begins to think of bees.

When his Conquests get an airing
she feels like being elsewhere.

By the time he gets around to the First Million
her head is a swarm.

Shocked he thinks her face is Distressed
but closer, it is a complete intensity.

And then the queen streaks into the sky
and her face takes flight, is gone.

A few last workers trailing off
where once had been her arms.

Her clothes collapse, empty as his mouth
about to say: ‘Honey?’

Source: Salom, P 1993, Feeding the ghost, Penguin Books, London.

Having Stood On the Ledge – Lynn Hard

[1938–current, born America, migrated to Australia in 1977]

Having stood on the ledge
and watched the crowd gather:
a country fair painting
of sprayed acrylics:
an anticipation
of splatter,
I know the indifference to height,
that the ledge
is an improvement
on the hotel room with its special channel
which endlessly rolls the time,
the weather,
and the wind direction by,
and I know the indifference to the street,
just another cord in the net.

Having taken the step
and felt my intestines
uncoiled by gravity
I have dropped
like a fluttering x,
a dark cross of St Andrew,
watching the crowd
make a place for me.
The awnings flash by:
blurs of test patterns,
lodgers gouached by the tube
do not look up
from loving Lucy,
they go past like credits
scrolling up.
I drop,
my clothes make an annoying buffet
and worse,

the street gets no nearer.

Source: Hard, L 1993, Dancing on the Drainboard, Angus & Robertson, Australia, pp. 65–66.