Friday, 10 January 2014

Green Ithaka The Islands Before By Greg Patrick

Green Ithaka
 The Islands Before
 By Greg Patrick

An illuminated lyre formed centre-piece of a dark 
room in solitary splendour
awaiting the bard’s words and touch..

Though blind he had vision…
remembered it for in another writer’s words:
 “even were he blind he would know her for what she was”
Even in perpetual dark he knew light once and it would not be unsung
centuries before a man who cured the blind was hung
Nailed to a tree he sang songs of a fair face over the vast sea..

The smile that was like a song one could
not get out of one’s head as fine
a poetry as ever read like a poetry from lips read by the deaf.

A smile that was silence set to music
so that of an eve without her the night itself sang.

Like waves of night to a distant shore.
How many nights more  between waves…
are we kept apart…?

Ulysses paces the shore with a lion’s heart.
So many wakes behind and dividing seas between.
Too many battles fought to lose a queen.

Two unfulfilled chairs by a silver screen.
 Like two empty thrones before the sea waiting
for the quiet bard to sing after a phone that will never ring.


Raise the shell to hear the sea.
Look to the muse-blinded eyes to behold the sea’s
voluminous depth in the imagery of song,
even if my star-crossed way was wrong.

The artist walks away for another inspiration to find
but it was always a
dream and image sought by the blind.

Muse smoldering red into dreams searingly
 like that of a warrior’s nightmares.
Like the pollen of a tropical flower that haunts with
beatific dream the warrior and
explorer’s bower, vexes the composer in his tower.

Makes astrologer out of astronomer.
Believer of the faithless.
Infected by it’s dulcet fever and for nights
 after it’s thrall and dreamer.

Away from tired desks lined in a row
 as the desire for quest grow and Arthur calls
for his sword and Ulysses at last returns to his bow.
The suitors see the storm of sea in his eye
and against dream-differed nightmares die,
gods hear at last an exiled voyager’s cry
and recited words not my own
and to speak my words is to know no home.

Gladiator at heart before there was a Rome.

I don’t leave you on voyages of a restless heart
 and defiant soul must make but it’s their
spell and wonder that I take as far as
the horizon goes, the sigh is a wordless expression of
one name, on horizon’s
verge where the seas break over the heart
of the castaway, gone overboard,
swept away once and never
reclaimed.

I remember that name to the stars
 let the sea wash away with
 purging salt so many scars,
of tropic nights when sigh
 is all that is left of battle cry,
the waves it’s distant echo
 of so many nights and aimless fights.

The moonlight’s flame has dwindled
 the tide has gone yet I linger
 like Yeats thinking of Maud Gonne.

The tides rise and fall.
There the ghost of a never child holding a
doll as we are playthings to as many shores and closed doors.
 Her hand extends like past to present…
So many presents..


‘Daddy will you walk the night shore with me
was it really Santa or you who left the doll by the tree..?

Do reindeer fly daddy
Tell me honestly…?”

He smiles in that dreamy way he so often
 looked to the stars as a rebel would through the bars
In answer he lifts her up suddenly high…”I’ll make you fly..”

The way she made me feel walking in air…You have her hair..
Making her entrance like the dawn..
I know it’s not polite to stare
but the moment was ours and even
if the gods warned I hadn't cared…

Now the horizon awaits to be dared.
Why do you go it is asked.
 Dangers await in the depths and in the sky.

A sigh to the east that doesn't lie.
There’s no reason to stay and cry.

The traveler will stand the
stones and hearts of stone only when he dies.
The horizon beckons and so too the skies.

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