Friday, October 12, 2012

Playlist for October 12, 2012


1. Red Moon Eclogues

By Mark Tredinnick  

I

Every year the moon inches away from us. In time she’ll swim too far out

to anchor us at our habitual angle to the sun, and that will be the end

of the well-tempered and recursive wildness

                                                             that conceived and suffered us,

and that will be the end of us. We have just two

billion years to thank her for our time here. Eternity has a use-by date
 

II

But it’ll be up long before that, and in the meantime,

I sit on the cold step of the cowshed and watch the world throw its shadow

on the moon like a horseblanket;

                                                             in the meantime the moon reddens

in the refraction of all our dawns and sunsets, in a kind of transfigured cosmic

smog. An apocalypse that lasts three hours until it’s time to go to bed.
 

III

And in the meantime on the floor of my shed, blue planets sing in the hands

of children as they once sang in war. Two small worlds forged to cry terribly down

like creation unravelling upon one’s foes now

                                                               make a peaceful clangour on my secular desk.

One spins from its orbit and quakes and chips its cerulean shell on the floor

of heaven. The tectonics of play. We are loved like this, and this is how it ends.
 

IV

I’m arguing a lot with death these days. And last night I found myself

in court poised to clinch the case against the absurdity of life.

Certainly, this was sleeping and certainly

                                                            I was dreaming and I’d been losing the thread,

but all at once I saw where my argument must run, and I was running it there

when my small boy cried and woke me and I went to him and now I’ll never know.
 

V

Spring now, and the river has drawn back her bow. The lark ascends

from the cd-player, and black ducks sip brown ditchwater in the yard.

Everything’s in bud or leaf, last of all

                                                              the silver poplars and the Osage Orange,

trees flaring even now in the backyard of the childhood of my friend, the poet,

the poet’s son. The world happens twice. Draw the linen string taut and shoot.

 

VI

One lives in paradox. Debussy plays; trucks flounder past like gods

who’ve lost control of their machines. In between one makes one’s life up.

The sound is the price you pay for the sight

                                                             that meets you every morning and half

of what you paid for the house. The shed puts the perfect sky in her pocket,

and possums rut in the roof. Eternity is in rehearsal, and this is its soundtrack.

 

VII

Brad mows an acre an hour. A general at ease on his machine, a banker

in overalls, he’s rationalised our small republic on one tank of gas. And this now—

cutgrass at four o’clock—is how

                                                              hope smells. Some days I can see no way out:

the body of the world in entropy. But today I sit among the ruins

of the afternoon, and I cannot see how it can’t all go on forever.

 

VIII

Meantime the moon has made herself new again, and there has been rain.

The Marulan hills, which had almost forgotten the taste of the word,

are spelling green again this afternoon,

                                                             and there’s water in a lake that’s been a paddock

for a decade. Three black cockatoos, and then three more, fly over as I take

the southwest road. And into all this panoply of hope, the new moon falls.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Claude Debussy (1st movement)
 
 
 2. The Quiet Hour
by Jonathan David


When the hour is hushed and you lie still,

So quiet is the room about me

It seems perhaps that you are gone,

Sunken to a marble sleep.
 

I hear no sound; my quiet will,

Passive as the lambs at rest,

Stirs not the quaint forgetfulness

But only murmurs, “Sleep is strange!”
 

The low moon at the lattice going

Rests no more quietly than you at peace.

Hushed is the candle; the hour is late,

And I, poor witness of extreme change,

 

I think perhaps then heaven opens

Like the unfolding of your hand in sleep—

Your cold white hand—to close again—

While I sit staring at the marble gate.

 REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Piano Trio by Maurice Ravel (1st movement)
 
 

 3. Song of the Sea to the Shore

By Robert Fanning
 

Unraveling velvet, wave after wave, driven  

by wind, unwinding by storm, by gravity thrown—  

however, heaving to reach you, to find you, I've striven  

undulant, erosive, blown—   
 

or lying flat as glass for your falling clear  

down: I can't swallow you. So why  

have I felt I've reached you—as two reflected stars,  

surfaced, lie near—as if the sky's    

 

close element is one in me, where starfish  

cleave to stones—if you're so far?  

I've touched you, I know, but my rush        

subsides; our meetings only leave desire's   

 

fleeting trace. Every place I touch you  

changes shape. Shore, lie down—  

undo. I'll fill your thirsty bones with blue.  

I'll flood your every cave and we'll be one.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  The Enchanted Lake by Anatoli Liadov
 

 

4. Song of the Shore to the Sea

By Robert Fanning
 

It's never enough being one. Why do I hope

to contain you: always undoing and undone;

every place you touch me changes shape.

It's not my way to just lie down;

 

 

to sink, effaced and full. If you

swallow me, you're drained, and half

of us is gone. Desire's fulfillment is two,

not one, or our tidal meetings are through.

 

 

So hurl your wet force forward, sea,

take me wave by wave. Pearl maker, pull

me deep; our one's a need, a momentary

bliss. What I erect, you spill—

 

 

castles, boulders, cliffs. My love's endurance

grain by grain; your adoration's rain.

Touch my bones, my canyon's carved evidence.

Even the moon who moves you is stone.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Barcarolle No. 4 in A-flat, Op. 44 by Gabriel Faure


 

Under Stars
Under Stars

By Tess Gallagher

 

The sleep of this night deepens

because I have walked coatless from the house

carrying the white envelope.

All night it will say one name

in its little tin house by the roadside.

 

 

I have raised the metal flag

so its shadow under the roadlamp

leaves an imprint on the rain-heavy bushes.

Now I will walk back

thinking of the few lights still on

in the town a mile away.

 

 

In the yellowed light of a kitchen

the millworker has finished his coffee,

his wife has laid out the white slices of bread

on the counter. Now while the bed they have left

is still warm, I will think of you, you

who are so far away

you have caused me to look up at the stars.

 

 

Tonight they have not moved

from childhood, those games played after dark.

Again I walk into the wet grass

toward the starry voices. Again, I

am the found one, intimate, returned

by all I touch on the way.


REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Nocturne, by Aaron Copland

 

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