fileg (fileg) wrote,

dominic moraes

I am struggling with a place in a story I am not ready to talk about. I have had some lovely beta input, but it has made me wonder about direction. The image though - the original image I tried to paint, will not lift.

I woke up with the final stanza of a Dom Moraes poem in my head, and was surprised to remember that when I first fell in love with his work, sometime around 1968, ( which would make me about 16) this poem took me to a place that is exactly parallel to the place I am writing that story from. The brain - you think you have forgotten - it waits for sleep to strike.

Dom Moraes
The Watcher

Ochre like rust, the moss lay on the rocks.
The mountains sloped into the river. One
Day from the slope I watched a steaming fox
Towing a stream of hounds past me. The sun
Dilated, and a rush of birds declared
The kill. The sift of pads, light as a kiss,
Announced the homing of the hunters, tired.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

I watched red ants mine in the fallen skull
Till it was hollow, and a cup for dew.
The fieldmice came to sip when it was full
And furnished nightwork for the owls to do,
Which, later, furnished daywork for the ants.
In all this labour, nothing went amiss.
Each cycle moved as strictly as a dance.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

Today, upon these rocks, the moss is dry.
Where is our grave? When will the mountain split?
The dancers turn so fast they blur my eye.
Years pass, and still I am not used to it.
But I must watch the hot wind tilt the skull
And the ridged mask be raised as for a kiss.
We suffer and are not made beautiful.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.
Tags: poetry

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