Saturday, 18 June 2016

square of earth - I

Square of Earth

In ancient Chinese cosmology the earth was symbolised by a square and heaven by a circle.  Each of these four pieces ( 'corner songs' I call them) in the ‘Square of Earth’ represent an emotional variation on the theme of my leaving Beijing after living there 13 years to return to New Zealand. They also reflect my taking the moods of any leaving as simply a rehearsal for the great final departure.

Square of Earth – I

this is the corner song of feigned indifference

   dry well

no time
no room
to give a telling
of all i fell
into under
ran up against
put my head
right through
in this dry
dusty place
a city of
forgotten wells
and murder
under bricks
a town of
the willow along
still water
a town with
its back to
the wall and
the angry
riders beyond
i tug on the
root i've grown
into this earth
shelved with
antiques with
its spring green
waking from a
winter of grime
a city i dreamed
a poem of birds
in cages into
i tug on
the root i've
grown into
this earth
like a crumbling
tooth and turn
to the south
over ocean
something dying
in the leaving
i never knew
lived.

                                    beijing

                                    november 2011

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