endings & beginnings

my new year’s message this year is this quaint little ditty. i was writing out the fair copy this morning when i was interrupted not by a man from porlock but a mother-in-law from neuss bearing presents. so i had to finish it on a fresh sheet of paper which i then stuck together so you can see that the interruption came at a pertinent point:

endings & beginnings31122013_00000

for those who cannot decipher my writing:

 

                                                                  endings & beginnings

                                                                  (in a winter’s garden)

BEGIN with the word that comes first, like light

from a twilit winter’s garden, when soft rainfalls

drop on dewy, leaf-pocked grass, showering bright

like a sudden flow of MOMENTS through the calls

of a goosequilled V tooting past, this starry night…

*

I sometimes try to freeze TIME, so it stops

and in an INSTANT feel and think all blend

and merge within MOMENTS—consciousness drops

like heaven’s rainfall in a winter garden—

inconsummate, unbegun, word without END,

*

but now SOMETIMES I forget such somethings,

and in your love I’ve found SEASONS to care

about the here, NOW, not some perfected place where

there are no more ENDINGS and BEGINNINGS.

                                                                                              freddie o

                                                                        viersen, 29-31 december 2013

 

love became a lonely land: autumnal haiku chain

leaves on loam

leaves like love let go

spiral down to snoozing earth,

dark, russet-brown loam.

*

when fall took those leaves

love became a lonely land—

warmth withdrawn, wan sun’s

*

waning light bled slow

blind trails of mud and sodden

footsteps veined with ice

*

wan sun's waning light bled slow blind trails

where ghosts shadowed past,

skulked all through that leafless land

to haunt our autumns…

*

stark, unfelled, strange-boughed—

love’s remains in lonely land:

bare old beeches, clumped,

*

storm-ridden and gaunt,

sheltering our homeless hearts,

winterblown—like us,

*

love’s a vagabond

wandering to a nameless place

of endless leaving—

*

on tracks untravelled

from fall to spring, we will see

leaves, let go, return.

leaves, let go, return

leaves, let go, return

___________________________________________________________________________________

 – I originally wrote this haiku chain on Twitter — a bad habit of mine — poetry on Twitter being so hit and miss, nobody’s looking for it — but I find it a good place maybe for knocking out a first draft.

– When I’d written it I thought Love is a lonely land was a new phrase but then I checked and I saw I had actually lifted it (subconsciously…) from an old, sweet song.

–  This was Billie Holiday’s beautiful, mournful Deep Song (by Cory and Cross), which includes the line:

Love lives in a lonely land

and ends:

Love is a barren land, a lonely land/A lonely land.

–  That’s a song I must have listened to more than a couple dozen times since childhood (my parents also loved Billie Holiday).

– At any rate, my haiku chain has ended up as a sort of retort — a positive echo if you like — to the somewhat bleak sentiments of Deep Song

– So thanks to Billie, Cory and Cross!

– And here’s their song in all its glory:

Billie Holiday: Deep Song