Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Poem for a New Zealand Christmas: "Spectacular Blossom" by Allen Curnow



     Pohutukawa Trees, Auckland

Mock up again, summer, the sooty altars
Between the sweltering tides and the tin gardens
All the colours of the stained bow windows
Quick, she’ll be dead on time, the single
Actress shuffling red petals to this music,
Percussive light! So many suns she harbours
And keeps them jigging, her puppet suns,
All over the dead hot calm impure
Blood noon tide of the breathless bay.

-- Are the victims always so beautiful?
Pearls pluck at her, she has tossed her girls
Breast-flowers for keepsakes now she is going
For ever and astray. I see her feet
Slip into the perfect fit the shallows make her
Purposefully, sure as she is the sea
Levels its lucent ruins underfoot
That were sharp dead white shells, that will be sands.
The shallows kiss like knives.

-- Always for this.
They are chosen for their beauty.

Wristiest slaughterman December smooths
The temple bones and parts the grey-blown brows
With humid fingers. It is an ageless wind
That loves with knives, it knows our need, it flows
Justly, simply as water greets the blood,
And woody tumours burst in scarlet spray.
An old man’s blood spills bright as a girl’s
On beaches where the knees of light crash down.
These dying ejaculate their bloom.

-- Can anyone choose
And call it beauty? -- The victims
Are always beautiful.


     -- Allen Curnow

Nothing says Antipodean summer and Christmas like the blossoming of the Pohutukawa tree.



Photo credit: Professional photographer Rob Suisted 

About the poet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Curnow



MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MY BLOG READERS, THE FAITHFUL FEW. LOVE AND LIGHT IN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON TO YOU ALL.

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