Monday, March 24, 2014

Night Writing

For Barbara

       Barbara Kingsolver celebrating her Orange award, 2010
Photo: Chris Harris 
i. Night

Distant crimson bleeds into paling light
to scab an edge round
lengthened limbs and hooded leaves
of box and gum;

Blackness quickens until only
ventricles of cherry-lime, capillaries
of blue and pin-pricked white
hold back obscurity. 

ii. Mosquito

In the sinking night a lone mosquito sings
its thread of rising sound
sharp and present as an axe blade
against a hollow sky.

Sensing an edge to impress
proboscis swoops, steadies, dips
and taps a vital seam that throbs
along its nib and further up and in.

Irritated hands, reflexive, clap at air
while the sated singer flees the ruptured skin
muffling its full-blooded voice
in a shadowed corner.

iii. Christmas beetle

At the window, outside, wanting in, a
Christmas beetle taps its wings
with Morse code regularity
inscribes its love of light entranced
in dance steps on the pane of glass.

iv. Woman

As the darkness body-presses
up against the house, a woman meditates in words
upon the frame dividing night
from day and dark from light
herself from the horizon and those lives
held at a distance.

Spellbound at illuminated limits of the visible her
fingers lap-tap screen-keys, unleash
algorithmic clicks of digits, navigate
a silhouetted border proximate

to those rapped by the beetle and mosquito:
all impulses poised (in species’ cryptograms)
to pose their parallel desires
to entertain  (in parallel manoeuvres)

the sustaining illusion of light.