Poetry from NHI publications

when he replays the cassette
and hears his own voice
he winces
feeling the blood rush to his temple
slightly high-pitched
a bit tremulous
with a touch of hysteria
it's not what others would think
rather the way he perceives himself
it's not either that he wishes
he were someone else
no, it is at once simple
and terribly ambitious
like the swish of grass blades
in a simmering July afternoon
where he can't tell whether
it is a sound at all
or the foreshadowing of danger
the senses are so exacerbated
and suddenly, to his delight
he re-enacts a scene
that took place decades ago
bending over his parent's gramophone
a little boy sits mesmerised
the voice coming out
of the scratched 78rpm record
is that of Yma Sumac
if there is a creator
then she must be a goddess
with her notes scaling the rainbow
from the whispers of genesis
to the explosions of the heart
he can't put a face to this voice
in spite of the cover photograph
even consciously blurs its features
the jungle spills out of those grooves
drawing him into its magic
and the scratch seems to be
that which binds him to the miracle
so frail and yet so timeless
Painting the Tower of Babel
ISBN 0 903610 18 3

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This page last updated: 9th March 2006.