Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Genius Loci

"Self-portrait on a happy and creative occasion"
© 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

To have been born in a land of scorching summers
  where trees catch fire by spontaneous combustion
    and earth expends its life-juices
      in the fulfilment of a drought

To have been born in a land of earthquakes
  childhood bred amid the fear and wonder
    of that raging bull
      who drives his horns in claustrophobic anger
        through the underbelly of the earth
  ramming it
            assailing it
                           shivering in his wrath

To have been born among high mountains
  to sense in one’s blood the rise and fall
    the lofty heights and awesome depths
      the fury of the flaming ice
to aspire to climbing
     to scale beyond the vertigo of falling

To have been born beside the sea
  to hear one’s own life
    ebbing-flowing in the current
      as quick as love or blood

To have been born in a land of avalanche or monsoon
  of volcano or scorching desert
    to witness the energies of life and death
      pressed to their limits
tearing one’s soul into full awakeneness
  granting one the most intimate knowledge
    of the divine
      the most immediate experience
        of the unknown

          But alas -
  I was born in a city of stone
    on a cold flat marsh
      beneath a dull high moor
        with scenery lush but undramatic

  upon such still and quiet earth
    the climate moderate
      the landscape of my life eked out of
        pastoral field and elegiac elm...

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