Tuesday 18 August 2009

Barbara Guest's The Blue Stairs (Corinth Books, 1968)

It is a vast smooth dream
this uncrippled Bosphorus
. . .

Enough of this dizziness
let us apply the oars

"Turkey Villas"

There's that old shawl in the corner
looking like a wave

There's a ringing in my ears
as if a poem were beating on stone

The room fills now with feathers,
the birds you have released, Muses,

I want to stop whatever I am doing
and listen to their marvelous hello.

conclusion of "The Return of the Muses"

Windows, Melissa, they contain what is best
of us, the glass your arm has arranged
into crystal by spinning eye, by alarms
taken when the rain has chosen a form
unlike the universe, similar to ups and downs
which vary or change as cowslips
in the meadow we cross have a natural tint,
the panes reflect our hesitations and delight.

"Fan Poems"

not so turbulent in the shallows, but boring
as after prayers and feasting the sleepy travellers
. . .

can save face even in oceanic pratfull
recognizing superior strength takes moral
courage once gained on a really critical turn
later made the pipeline but don't
expect each year to
. . .

Am called Cassandra in these summer days
when in the soft illness of heat I'm ready
to talk of battles
. . .

Gallantly these fine surf horses
(innocently capturing a beach as daylight
finds the old sea at its best cooler
more quiet the dawn strokes
a way to greet heroes             the flat hues
let them rest)
                               battle form

we acquiesce

                              the purchasable line

promptly renewing our lids / our eyes

to negotiate each splendid day

we do this from wave couch

in shrewdness meditate

the expanse                   the artful dare

"A Handbook of Surfing"

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