Stilled sounds from your bedroom check futile
gestures. Each time the window unlatches
oppressive air numbs my senses, leaden air
that’ll not suffer sounds anew of a voice departed
in unsullied peace, soft and smooth to my heart.
Sometimes windows open with a mysterious hush,
as if sounds were longing to fill a void, be present,
then stay their headlong rush towards my waiting ears.
Each time it’s the same, and the sounds are the same,
tender and magnetic in the stillness of memory.
If spontaneous sounds revisit, grief returns,
my profuse gestures tremble in the air,
sounds sounds sounds of an essence spent;
brief beats of silence become pain,
un-stilled stillness causing havoc in time’s flow.
Everything returns, sterile sorrow,
deafening singularities in endless succession.
My gestures don’t solve life’s riddle.
Muted sounds from your vacant room,
sounds sounds, those sounds will not return.
Time stands still in your gaze:
you survive in a descending spiral,
searching for preterite instants
in mnemonic pathways.
Your eyes don’t see the world
Your mind transmutes love in phantoms
Dementia, like the blind worm,
slides through tunnels in live matter.
Is your yoke easy? You don’t answer.
Destiny summons you with the mask of a woman.
Seeking an outlet, you carry a child’s rucksack
on an old man’s loins,
packed with unfathomable images of your yesterdays.
Your destiny is Amphitrite with a child in her arms.
Goddess of the Ocean,
she breastfeeds aquatic creatures
adrift in embryonic waters.
You must return to the cool green depths.
You will have peace.
I wipe garish makeup from your lips,
because you are stoned or drunk,
a loner in the silent metropolis.
You flush me down fauces,
labyrinths that man conceals
in a maze of urban paradoxes,
forgetful of my sacred heritage.
Unreal age, the rush and noise of city days,
when mums and lunch-hour dawdlers
unroll plastic mats or coats on grass,
to broil their skin with U.V. rays,
like sacrificial beasts on beer-can altars.
I’d not go willingly into the bowels
of doomed cities, palaces, taverns,
but gravity pulls me down hollows,
now and then a glimpse of sidewalks
above, of the homeless snoring
on thresholds, legs curled mindlessly
over iron gratings.
I spy a yellowish glow: a wedding-ring. Yours?
Your mascara was streaked with tears.
I flow past tatters, socks, foul jeans,
smegma of mangy bodies and cats,
I hear the squeals of mating rats
slinking in gutters, climbing and falling
swish swish swish
into my sludge to reach the sea.
A shoe-sole gasps and taps
at my oily edge, and is toppled over by a toad.
Chemically treated -H2O recycle mode-
I’m dumped in reservoirs and left to brew,
until breezy dawns spell hope
as I swirl into a realm of heavenly hues.
And yet -like Sisyphus- I must start over,
pushing not a rock but mammoth turbines
for city lights and the miracle of your tap water.
Sylvia Maclagan was born on an apple farm in the valley of Río Negro, Argentina. A bi-lingual poet she has been published widely in Spanish and English. Patagonia Lost, Books I and II were published by Mosaic Musings Publications in 2007. Maclagan was most recently published at Recently, Peace & Freedom Press.