martes, noviembre 21, 2006

Three Poems from Lincoln O'Neill


In that myth the young were told of the dead
being buried into the sky, the smoke of them
rode thermal air to the mountain that held

the land up from the limits of the sea.
Against tradition, some trekked those gradients
balancing on high ridges to be closer

to guiding stars, and grounds where the dust
of the beloveds had settled, the night’s
provisions spent, they descended, leaving behind prints

that they’d breached the sanctuary under the heavens,
carrying down some of the dead on the soles of boots,
granting range to extend into the oceans.


On sampling the edges of the millennia-old
sacrificial altars, the pigments of their deities,
or from the selvedge of the Shroud of Turin,
time’s print peels away from within

history’s collage of in-and-out reception,
as with the stone for the more recently breathing
where lichen has climbed to consume
inscription, leaving a wordless stele

that executes the silence of time’s edict,
or that lifted from a seam compressed
by a dozen eras, now behind museum glass,
the murdered and leathery peatbogman who stood up to time.

The Grains

It’s an inch of some infinity between towels
with summer bodies sunk in its mould ¬-
sand’s a whole tradition that demands a coast,
though in the oldest countries, the core of the land is sand.

It’s in the masonry that fuses, yet mobile
in storms to subside suburbs or bury old wars,
it’s the knocked off edges of civilizations;
with hourglasses - it composes the outside, the within.

A kilo of powdery white carbon, the particles
that had stood as a human, crowd the living
forward for the dispersal’s settle with other elements,
the ground’s company of those fine grains.

Lincoln O’Neill lives in Wellington, New Zealand, having recently returned from a year and a half in southern Asia, principally in India. His poetry has been published in various journals/magazines in the UK, the US, India, Singapore, Austria and South Africa including Stand, The Rialto, The Journal, Coffee House Poetry (UK), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Crimson Feet (India), Porcupine (USA), New Contrast (South Africa), JAAM (New Zealand) and The Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore.

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