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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hunger Breathes

Head on Heart (Hear the Sound of My Breathing)

I remember the day
you put your head to my chest
to hear the sound
of my hunger breathing,
and then you looked up to feed me
with your eyes,

now I'm starving,
breathing the fear
in a heart that never says enough, or
else has far too much to say,
or else needs the vehicle
of words to convey
him home alone.


A Terrain of Six Possibilities


There was that last togetherness
stuck in some terrain
of possibility in my mind -

where anger could not barter,
or persuade away
from a final reunion -

where love would coax
our neglected hunger to suckle
on the milk of better times -

but had we met again, would we
have realised how sparse
our lands had become?


Would the farmer, having gone away
come back to a cursed communion
with his fallow land -

hard and unforgiving,
unyielding clumps of darkness,
a thick, dead brand -

or putting his ear to stony ground
have caught the sound
of hunger breathing deeply,

sleeping under the frost
until the burgeoning memory
of spring came near?


Had the farmer returned
again to this
most beloved terrain,

what would have greeted
eyes that yearned
for green -

would seeds have taken
quickly to the earth,
quick enough to be seen,

or should the suffering soil
have complained
for lack of rain?


If the farmer had reaped
a starving harvest -
a death penalty

for the poor worker
that simply did not
dig deep enough -

or if the wind had
rolled down a mountain
of reason to cry -

what have you have sown
in these fields?
what could've been the reply?


Without working hands deeply
toiling muddy trenches -
in such sudden silences

could the earth and farmer
hear all that the other
had to say -

or when the owl gives out
a small cry
for the coming of the moon,

would the day fail
with the farmer to realise
how quickly the light can die?


But what grows
in the mind cannot
sustain on the outside,

unless it is put to work
by the most human
of human hands,

and like a rusted spade
without a handle,
or a sheath with no sword,

we always knew really
without such work, our farmer
would be a worthless word.

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