I am a coward. Away from a suffering homeland
I feel very little and can tell you even less.
What would you need to know? That the sun squeezes up
like a pip in a pale blue bowl, regularly? I yawn
and rub gum from my eyes as I watch it.
There is the stumble of lightning
in the distance.
I build myself a house in the desert,
white and tiny, where birds flirt and tangle
and thunder on the tin roof: here I weld poems
under the vast sky that mocks me,
kick sloughed adders’ skins out of the way,
get drunk, fall monotously in love.
My thighs wrinkle into shadow
I cannot think of a precision of ideas
brighter than lovers’ teeth, and undending generation
from their dark cavities.
It’s not that I fear touch – it’s easy to fall in love –
it is easy to fall in love…
Everything is quiet in the village. Girls weep over
unforseen pregnancy and take brutal husbands.
Their speech, mine, is full of consequences.
All this has happened before.
We find time for beauty simply in the violence of the rain.
People die quickly from alcohol
or being stood upon by snakes:
these and adultery our only pastimes,
the burgeoning pumpkins we tend. And shudder
at the thought we may already have surrendered.
To what, nobody knows.
Kelwyn Sole, The Blood Of Our Silence (Ravan Press, 1987)