Thursday, 6 August 2009

Thinking about silence

When better to rethink a poem than during the early hours when sleep unravels. Here's a difference to my artwork: once a piece is declared done it hardly ever changes again, whereas a poem niggles away at me until I return to it, over and over.

Sibyl

Last she pawns her tongue, for coins and crumbs,
belly a howling hollow; her books long gone,
a copper for thick tresses.

Scooped, scoured homeland, stony bane: her throat
sifts seeds of silence. She shades her eyes
but signs seep like tears.

For years she scrimps, heaving with voice and verse.
Folks come, unshout their woes, the loot and litter
of their souls, and ravaged faces soften.

Scalp bristling cold, she bears a bundle home.
She spreads stained cloth: out rolls a dull, brown,
shrivelled thing, with raised blue veins
and a diaphanous fin.

Her mouth's a bony lair, where nothing lives.
Tuber, muscle, earthworm, stiff as a bell's tongue -
she waits to feel it wake.


4 comments:

Kruse said...

so strong an image. A haunting work.

Lesley B. said...

Sibyl as wise woman? Powerful. I'd like to make some sort of visual interpretation of a poem by you one day. I experience stops and starts too in my visual work but this is an intention of mine one day.

Joanna said...

I've read your poem and thought about Madame Sosostris from "The Burial of the Dead". Just association in my mind... I very like this individual Sibyls portrait. I have to think more about it. Thank you for interesting publications.

Roxana said...

"Her mouth, this bony lair, where nothing lives."

this is poweful, this is one of those lines which can change a life...