Friday, 18 November 2011

More from the archives of Poetry North East

Tolstoy's brother plants a green stick in the estate at Yasnaya Polyana.
It has happened before.

The woods at Yasnaya Polyana.

Eyeless leaves
rustle their neighbour's faces. Sough,
Sough. The wind. Tolstoy's brother
plants his green stick.

'If ever you find
this carved secret. Earth
will have greened a Paradise.'

Green, green.

Black men, abiding their wilderness,
scorch the defoliated, wriggling grub.

Whitely the ferry chunters us
between bays. In oiled dispersions
of wateriness we sprinkle to our rest.

The cut religious stick fades
among first plantantions. Wind heaves.
Wordlessly, it vanished, bearing
what the hand gave, of brief warmth.

O supple Paradise. Integument
prime as our mother's breats
folding milk.

The pouched marsupial intelligence,
its care, its teeth, stained with grass,
its leap to the peaceable knigdom, that,
that and no other thing, where is it?

The greening of a cut, wordless
Australasian stick. Wind lifts
like a huge leaf. Lovely questions
folitate the Pacific. 

                                                                                    Sydney 1974

Jon Silkin