Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Chosen Landscape

I am a continent, a violated geography,
Yet still I journey to this naked country,
to seek a form which dances in the sand,
This is my chosen landscape.

Sand dunes, interminable deserts, burning winds
the night temperature bitter, a land of grit;
and floating above me stars as violent
as fire balloons, tactile and brilliant.
The all-enveloping sky, a cloak of soot.
This is my story, my brief biography.
The sum total of my experience. I travel –
a compass useless in my useless hand –
through a sandscape, a singular topography.
I am a continent, a violated geography.

Restless in all this emptiness, I seek
a fellow traveller, search for a sign –
a secret handshake, a phrase, some unusual colour
like periwinkle, for instance, or bright citrine,
but the monotony of sand persists
and nothing improbable finds entry
into the appalling platitudes of speech –
the lingua franca of everyone I meet –
in this land devoid of flags and pageantry.
Yet still I journey to this naked country,

for something in its nakedness has a beauty
so pure it is as if I thrust a knife
into my immaculate flesh and drew it forth
without a drop of blood being spilled.  It is
abstract and invisible as air
this empty geometry, this ampersand
upon ampersand that leads me on
as if I were zero or minus sign,
through ‘and’ and ‘and’ and ‘and’,
to seek a form which dances in the sand

But nothing formal dances.  Only the wind
blows – unchoreographed – a floating ghost
across the dunes.  The sand molecular,
airborne and free, is faint with the scent
of absolute dryness, a small mineral smell.
And this almost scentlessness, this shape without shape
is a violated country, one in which
I am both exile and inhabitant
and though I would escape
this is my chosen landscape.

-pk page

1 comment:

Jacqueline Mallegni said...

You are quite the poet as well...beautiful sentiment and expression of the deserts wild landscape and fragility...