Cento after T. S. Eliot

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept
at the violet hour
for those who walk in darkness,
swaddled with darkness,
for Boudin, blown to pieces,
where trees flower and springs flow.

Teach us to care.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea.

What is that noise?
Wind under the door.

I have no ghosts pressing lidless eyes and waiting.
I would meet you upon this honestly.
because I do not hope to turn again.

O my people, what have I done unto thee?

To lose beauty in terror,
Lucretia Borgia shall be my bride,
she or the lady in the cape,
arms that are bracleted, white and bare.

There will be time to murder and create,
to be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk.

The goat coughs at night in the field overhead,
What images return, O my daughter,

Memory and desire stirring
in vials of ivory and coloured glass,
running stags around a silver tray,
the wilderness of mirrors.

Weave the wind on the mainland desert
or the rain land

Pray for us now and at the hour of our birth.


#age-and-creativity, #cento-after-t-s-eliot

House Space

But the unconscious cannot be civilized. It takes
a candle when it goes to the cellar.

-Gaston Bachelard
The Poetics of Space

Rising from sleep at dawn, sun-kindled
like a wave you flow from room to roof

securing the edges of your day.
You say this is the grandeur of your solitude,

this rhythmic wash through bounded space,
balcony, dining room, kitchen, den, the attic

where your careful poems salt the antique air.

Beneath the house, water scours the cellar wall.
You wish to descend the sea-worn stairs

but at night, unsettled by the obscuring dark

you fear the rip-tide’s pull
will drown the candle in your ageing hand

and carry you boundless into the unsayable.