Sky Fragments


Sky Fragments

Find the fingerprints
beside the tiny key
in the dust on the cabinet

because we all need a mystery
we crave someone elses
cave in on our own fear

slide your eye down those stockings
to the gap above the instep
where there is no ankle to grasp

elsewhere a trail of old cobwebs
glistening with grot

there are unseen corners here
lit by wax bulbs
that cannot be named

wistful phrases
conventional gestures
which delight

"no thank you"
"no thanks"
"thank-you but no"
the pure and simple NO

I know you not
how can there be icebergs
in my hen coop in May?

light and shade are tricks
the sun refracts
through the southern window
which sees the estuary spying
trying to dissolve
the heavy pills
on a furred inconsequential tongue

I am a little afraid
something has almost gone through me
seeing is never from memory
I am almost undone
suspended in the mad language

let us refuse
to leave the comfort of words
although the conversation
can neither move
nor repose in silence

the unconventional people
slip in quietly

the falling birds are from last spring
the retchings at midday
can't linger
they are embalmed
their stench has gone

just the dawn flock feeding
just the morning bird trilling
just the river moving
ancient forests about
just this mind
tracing spaces
above the floorboards

Tessa Priest

Karin's  studio, Whanganui - 2010

With thanks to:

Karin Strachan and 'Talisman for the mind'
Gaston Bachelard 'The Poetics of Space', 1958
Gerald L Bruns 'Maurice Blanchot - The Refusal of Philosophy', 1997
Janet Frame 'Faces in the Water', 1961