Perseid Meteor Showers

Thursday, June 30, 2011

For my brother, David, in his 45th year ~

Clearing a Space

A man should clear a space for himself,
Like Dublin city on a Sunday morning
about six o’clock.
Dublin and myself are rid of our traffic then
And I’m walking.

Houses are solitary and dignified,
Streets are adventures
Twisting in and out and up and down my mind.
The river is talking to itself
And doesn’t care if I eavesdrop.

No longer cluttered with purpose,
The city turns to the mountains
And takes time to listen to the sea.
I witness all three communing in silence
Under a relaxed sky.

Bridges look aloof and protective.
The gates of the park are closed
Green places must have their privacy too.
Office-blocks are empty, important and a bit
Pathetic, if they admitted it!

The small hills of this city are truly surprising
When they emerge in that early morning light.
Nobody has ever walked on them,
They are waiting for the first explorers
to straggle in from the needy north

And squat down here this minute
In weary legions
Between the cathedral and the river.
At the gates of conquest, they might enjoy a deep
Uninterrupted sleep.

To have been used so much, and without mercy
And still to be capable of rediscovering
In itself the old nakedness
Is what makes a friend of the city
When sleep has failed.

I make through that nakedness to stumble on my own,
Surprised to find a city is so like a man.
Statues and monuments check me out as I pass
Clearing a space for myself the best I can,
One Sunday morning, in the original sun, in Dublin.

Brendan Kennelly

And to rain, come to the desert...

Blessing

The skin cracks like a pod.
There never is enough water.

Imagine the drip of it,
the small splash, echo
in a tin mug,
the voice of a kindly god.

Sometimes, the sudden rush
of fortune.  The municipal pipe bursts,
silver crashes to the ground

and the flow has found
a roar of tongues.  From the huts,
a congregation:  every man woman
child for streets around
butts in, with pots,
brass, copper, aluminum,
plastic buckets,
frantic hands,

and naked children
screaming in the liquid sun,
their highlights polished to perfection,
flashing light,
as the blessing sings
over their small bones.

Imtiaz Dharker

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