Once He Saw Himself
Once he saw himself
a shaman from a vanished world.
World in perpetual motion;
no patience for how the photograph lies.
Two-dimensional people of today,
snapped and shot, could not stand in his heart.
But she! He saw how she powered forth
from a pre-linguistic world. Her magic
brought joy with instantaneous engagement.
That's not to say she wouldn't speak.
Speech is yoked with breath
for a glorious species of woman,
and she was a woman and a half.
A facade in a war zone makes a sorrowful sight
just a step up from rubble-strewn alleys.
All the neighbourhood the same
washed-out colour: a ten-year-old
vest, sadly not bullet-proof.
Survivors file past departed windows
no more than wounds now, black holes.
A spark, blue like unencumbered skies,
picks out his room: perhaps cornflowers
reaching for what light there might be.
No special insight is needed to see it,
just an unbowed head.
Heaped-up ruins, super-imposed
on exquisite moments of eternity,
fill the dejected minds of all the defeated
and the innocent children dragged by.
Of course it was she who saw! She focused well
recognizing her own realm returning.
There are birds that play above the trees
there is an embroidery of long green stems,
indestructible, supporting every beautiful flower.
Where the ruins crumble and fall
a chosen foreground is rightly praised
merely for clearing faster the choking dust.