Monday, August 06, 2007

Young passions

I'm packing up my apartment right now for an impending move to my very own one bedroom next week. Right now I'm in the unpleasant stage of going through all the papers that I had neatly (or not so neatly) stacked and stuck at random into my bookcases along with the books. I come across an old folder of stories, and what seems to have been the beginning brainstorm for a poem, written in the margin of some torn manuscript printout I had been editing. I used to write so much--and so much like this. Why don't I write like this anymore? Even if it was a bit flowery and occasionally cliched, it had more passion in it than I can muster up these days. I wonder if all my passion has gone into academic texts... sad thought. In my notes, I see I had intended to work on it and turn it into a sonnet. (I wrote... 'A sonnet?'') In actual fact, I have only written one sonnet in my life--and that is a very loose and sad excuse for a sonnet... Anyway, I'm typing up the brainstorm here with the line breaks (and a bit of tweaking here and there) as they were in the ms margin, minus a few way too over the top phrases. (ok, I keep coming back and editing this... so it is not as rough as it was when I first wrote this post...):

Look down
as you slant into the sky
and see the slow fall
of the hills, the red ants
of cars travelling black
trails through hazy hills.
The earth becomes vague
as if seen through silk.
And above, the sky arcs
blue, edges hemmed in white.

Once they looked up
longing, into that blue, where
hawks flew--trapped onto
the brown earth, hemmed in
by boulders and clustered clay
walls. Only dreamers thought
to fly. And perhaps for them
it was better than this sealed smooth air,
those who dared to melt at the sun
feel the ocean spray on their feet
before sinking into the sea
that was, for a while, endless.

Image credit: Roger Dean, "Flights of Icarus," in the Guardian

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