Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jim Bennett

Exposition on a theme of Christchurch

some time ago long it was between
but who can dwell with the passing of time
unless clock face and bells interrupt the service
and people leave    gloves left lying on the chair
this was Christchurch not the dome but Abbey
well into Druit park green man and canvas
the grass slicked back like hair into the soil
wood chips from carvings  done with axe
and steam driver rips at concrete this is how
the town becomes

here the cinema an arts centre for the others
the poets sing and writers dance across pages
what are you doing in the summer sunlight
it is winter and spring follows before the autumn
leaves fall from the writers grasp and left lying
in the pram a baby silent as the graveyard
its bench chair stretching across the millennium

roads black with tyres the world bent into a curve
towards the car park  mattered with people rushing
each with their eyes set inward their mouths set
to their distant friends ear     a brush blur of movement
the water distorting the reflections as it always did
and never for this is flow from where the sky
bleeds into a distant stream  one last time

entertainers come go pass this way that
leave laughter hanging  in unremembered jokes
“did you see”   “do you recall”  “remember when”
no not really  only eyes to record now the rest
a flickering screen with black white     forgotten
wars     recalled on a cenotaph  a shop selling flowers
across a pavement  to encourage death
and mothers  who wait for their day to see if they are
remembered with each passing year
the face of town


Notebook entries on the way to Liverpool


a cabinet of curiosities

the glass cabinet was in
a small room off the kitchen
it stood in shadow against a wall
its contents hidden until you were close
enough to see    a skull    a stuffed bird   
a rock cracked open to show crystals
like a miniature red grotto

there were other things
a native American headdress    a Zulu shield
a gun


from the mountain top
the footpath is clear
cut into the soil to expose the rock
like the broken crust on a pie
a stress line    broken    chipped away
along the ridge


at the funeral the priest
called on everyone to think
about the big questions
life    death    God
he said it over several times until
the desperation  to save a soul
crackled in the air like lightening
waiting to discharge
in any soul       perhaps even his own


the glass picks out the strands of light
braids it into coloured stripes
in the window it is Saint George
fighting a dragon with its fiery breath
across the chapel floor it falls like rain
in coloured pools
and like in the cinema I once knew
smoke    this time from incense not cigarettes
reveals itself  twisting in living shapes
trapped within the light beams


the trip to Liverpool to meet with friends
hear their poems    read some of mine
is short for me  but
I see how far I wandered off the path
and now look to the stars
to guide me home


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