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II.The Cargo

 

And there the horizon,

and now the waiting.

 

Gathered on the shore, the night

about our shoulders, watching the nets fall

upon the thalassa-whispering sea.

It is up! Caught in maze of twine,

below the quivering water, she scanned

our faces and set forth.

It is not forgotten.My eyes are lifted

up unto the hills and never set.

The light, changer of our coinage,

drawn to a needle point pierces

the gate and we remember (clear on mindís

screen, a vellum stretch, a hemp sway

across canvas furl).Breathless

the fishermen scar in many casts

the face lost in her self-inturning,

too well understood to be worshipped

yet in the fine-mortised whole, complete

though stamped and over-stamped is

still the change, undebased and unassayable.

 

Many the bulls encompass the night,

their arcs, their heat melt as wax belief

and we, guttered, are poured out like water:

in dust a delta of interwoven fibres

strained in not forgetting.

This the way:

In nets flung out to make the water tremble

with the draught of the holy catch:

heiratic ichtus, fish, cold sacrifice

out of and of all elements, opened

on hill and shore for the woman riding

on the crescent moon, hair coiled about

her face.Yet how well we know her.

The blue of peplos-fluted sky

conceals her passage arching over all.

We have one body and one blood, and

a thousand songs are on in the echo

of the hills, the rest is ply of light.

 

Love!You could not call it that.Not love!

It is for you we dance in a beat pulsed by

the real of night with light as mandrels

birl out,we are slender shafts and our glance

flames off.

††††††††††† And this too the way:

There stands memory warmed in the dark

by your breath and led by fine-boned,

shell-tipped fingers.Not alone in night.

Colours cling one to the other, yet line

divides plane from plane and it is easier

to think essences are cleaved by axe-fall,

splintering all into lustre slivers.

 

††††††††††† Not this way:

not with too much light!

 

Gift of the sun cuts her path with seven

swords and we are blooded in the hunt

of night. Scimitar moon, now nets are slit,

skims above blackened by night-light hills.

Yet we gaze while scaled fish pour

out to streak the stone-grey sea red.

 

††††††††††† This the way:

††††††††††† in ritual on the shore:

 

Foetal gills quivering in the shock

of remembering.For there with horn

ofdune and thew shift it is ever the same.

Come take a cord!The net must sing

through air to water. Quick cast

on one, only one flick from arms untiring

in sinew-slip, in the dramaís sacred act

repeated on periphery points around

orchestra in cymballing circle clash,

wave crash on records written within anemone

whorl, wind-rose; and this too born

of surge of sea in blood. Here the hiss

of sea by night and we remember.There

the horizon and the waiting.

Tongues cleave to salt, earth taste,

in song we turn from the beach, step

on shingle though the obscuring mist of dawn.

 

††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

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