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+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
| |-+  Poetry (Moderators: Tyehimba, leslie)
| | |-+  Poems Of Shape And Motion
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Author Topic: Poems Of Shape And Motion  (Read 15131 times)
Posts: 1788


« on: November 25, 2003, 06:03:04 PM »


I was wondering it I could shape this passion
just as I wanted in solid fire.
I was wondering if the strange combustion
of my days
the tension of the world inside of me
and the strength of my heart were enough.

I was wondering if I could stand as tall
while the tide of the sea rose and fell.
If the sky would recede as I went
or the earth would emerge as I came
to the door of the morning locked against
the sun.

I was wondering if I could make myself
nothing but fire, pure and incorruptible.

If the wound of the wind on my face
would be healed by the work of my life
or the growth of the pain in my sleep
would be stopped in the strife of my days.

I was wondering it the agony of years
could be traced to the seed of an hour.
If the roots that spread out in the swamp
ran too deep for the issuing flower.

I was wondering if I could find myself
all that I am in all I could be.
If all the population of stars
would be less than the things I could utter
And the challenge of space in my soul
be filled by the shape I become.

I walk slowly in the wind
watching myself in things I did not make:
in jumping shadows and in limping cripples
dust on the earth and houses tight with
deep constant pain, the dream without the

I walk slowly in the wind
hearing myself in the loneliness of a child
in woman's grief which is not understood
in coughing dogs when midnight lingers
on stones, on streets and then on echoing
that burn all night and suddenly go out.

I walk slowly in the wind
knowing myself in every moving thing
in years and days and words that mean so
strong hands that shake, long roads that
walk and deeds that do themselves.
And all this world and all these lives to live.

I walk slowly in the wind
remembenng scorn and naked men in darkness
and huts of iron rivetted to earth

cold huts of iron stand upon this earth
like rusting prisons.
Each wall is marked and each wide roof is
like some dark wing
casting a shadow or a living curse.

I walk slowly in the wind
to lifted sunset red and gold and dim
a long brown river slanting to an ocean
a fishing boat, a man who cannot drown.

I walk slowly in the wind.
And birds are swift, the sky is blue like silk.

From the big sweeping ocean of water
an iron ship rusted and brown anchors
And the long river runs like a snake
silent and smooth.

I walk slowly in the wind.
I hear my footsteps echoing down the tide
echoing like a wave on the sand or a wing
on the wind
echoing echoing
a voice in the soul, a laugh in the funny
I walk slowly in the wind.
I walk because I cannot crawl or fly.

(c) Martin Carter 1977
Poems of Shape and Motion from Poems of Succession by
Martin Carter (London: New Beacon Books) published by
LKJ Music (pubhshers Ltd./ New Beacon Books)

Poems Of Shape And Motion
A musical tribute to Guyanese poet Martin
Carter who died in December 1997 shortly
before his 70th birhtday. These two poems
written by Martin Carter were first published by
New Beacon Brooks in 1977 in his collection
Poems Of Succession.

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