|The Human Spectrum 2|
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“Genesis” was first published in “Early Poems”, in 1981, before home computing had been developed and desk-top publishing was achievable. I ransacked my diaries and notebooks for anything worth looting, and found just fourteen poems, written between 1973 and 1981. Every poem inevitably has its influences; those who like to follow literary tributaries back to their sources will note an affinity in “Genesis” with R.S. Thomas, both in the tone of certain phrases and their vocabulary; simple testimony to the fact that every good writer, whether poet or prosodist, must first and foremost be a versatile and accomplished reader.
Washed up astounded on the white, white beach
it began - the long, long journey towards
balance. There were the lessons that I learned,
but slowly: careful not to crack the shell,
to slip on stones, to grow my limbs around
the limbs of sea-weed; careful to avoid
the crab-claws and the sideways movements, on
a grey shore, with a storm unwinding, and
my fist closed firmly round the folded pearl.
There were the sea anemones, fractions
of light broken on the sea’s mirror; the
round pebbles, round as apples, that I longed
to touch, and clutched; the evanescent name
beyond the Name; the ladders of sea-weed
on which I climbed, stretching my body
and reducing it, stretching the white limbs
upwards and outwards, two unbroken sticks
unbending, two untouching hands unclasping,
two unseeing eyes unveiling, careful to observe.
Within reach of the sun’s white candle, I
stood unwavering upon the sand, I
stood unyielding to either cold or heat.
But do not be deceived.
This is not yet balance achieved.
This is just a man, standing on his own two feet.
"Genesis" is published in "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013", The Argaman Press. Click here to purchase the book.
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