1 | 2 | 3

Twilight and Melancholies

The last thing I hear before reaching mid-tunnel
where the radio in my car has no currency,
is how the mujahedin started fighting the Russians
who’d begun by invading Afghanistan.
I move to change stations, put the dial on Search
so that when I emerge some ringlet of music
might Rousseau me into the day.

Out into autumn sleet, The Basin’s roped pōhutukawa –
their filleted flowers, crimson or scarlet at the peak,
long gone – and these louvred chords!
Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead.
Although maybe it’s ‘aisle’? Not knowing the work,
hearing only the title, I imagine the thing
lined with consuls and cardinals, kings uttering
their lamentations: ‘Will fortune never come
with both hands full?’ And ‘Oh, these    fierce    vanities!’

Walking down the aisle will be like walking towards
a contracting sea. Walking down the aisle will be
knowing we’ve lost how to be intimate with immensity.
Walking down the aisle will be caught in a gap
in the larrikin wind – no pears, no red divan, no kites,
no hooves. Aisles, they’ll say, are for walking.

Contents | Previous | Next | About this Author