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Humanity Will Continue to Live an Inferior Life Than What is Possible Until the Two Halves: All Individuals in Them: That Make It are Absolutely Fundamentally and Jubilantly Equal at Liberty
 

 

Year Gamma: London: Sunday: October 22: 2017
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First Published: September 24: 2015

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Poets' Letter Magazine Archives Poetry Pearl

Kona Macphee

Featured Poet of October 2004

Kona Macphee was born in London and grew up in Melbourne, Australia. After secondary school she moved to Sydney, where she spent several years variously employed as a music student, waitress, shop assistant, civil servant and apprentice motorbike mechanic.

She subsequently studied Computer Science and Robotics at Monash University, and then took an M. Sc. at Cambridge as a Commonwealth Scholar. She
currently works in Astronomy as a Software Developer. She began writing in 1997 and since has won a number of poetry prizes including an Eric Gregory Award in 1998. Her first collection, Tails, was published by Bloodaxe in 2004.

Taking Her In
 For Fiona

You're taking her in, your mottled little sister,
splayed on the lap of the capable nurse
with relatives flanking her fever. Outside
late November is leaf-fall and frost,
the ground blotchy, matching her face
for raddled texture, the close of a season.
 
Tilted aslant to the window, you're playing
a game with your eyes, you're trying to catch
the car becalmed, the world in progress
backwards, the other way, back home.
You're not there yet, not nearly there
when the nurse looks up.  She's gone. I'm so sorry.
 
The car stops. Your breath stops. Everything stops.
Such stillness in that car, you'd swear it's there
for good, you feel the stalled wheels sinking anchors.
Your uncle gets out, seeking a telephone,
seeking advice, and you see the adults
are no more certain than you what comes now.
 
Uphill, a postman cycles past --- the one
who gave her peppermints, who'll take a cord
and guide her through that fine slot into earth?
He glides on the skyline, his cobweb wheels
tumbling against his progress, and is gone.
You stare as though he might spool by again.
 
It's colder, darker, and now there's a wind.
You're glad of the hood of the car, a shield
to the cryptically gesturing skeleton trees.
You wish you could drag that steel lid lower,
wear it like a carapace, a metal skin,
haul your limbs and head and heart right in.
 
Finally, your uncle returns: the door
squeals on its ailing hinge. There's a pause;
nobody speaks; you hear his loops of breath
as you, he, all of you, reel yourselves in.
At last he turns to the seats behind.
We'll go back, he says. But of course you can't.
 

Up

Hortus Botanicus


 The bees in bands of honey-brown and black
thrum from wood-walled boxes, rumble back
 
like a pollen train, haul after yellow haul,
to the work concealed behind the beehive walls.
 
The Hortus rings the beehives like a garland
and no bee ventures further, to the Holland
 
Theatre, shrugs its polychrome array
to strip grey pollen from the grey bouquet
 
that's held by the girl in the wedding dress,
a grey star stitched to her white left breast.
 
What need have bees to plague the pale bride
who bears her own plague-mark, there on her left side,
 
when downstairs, out, and back along the road,
the daffodils bow beneath their shocking gold?
The Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus is found on Plantage Middenlaan,
just down from the Holland Theatre, deportation point
for Amsterdam Jews in 1942-1944 and now a Jewish
war memorial and historical museum.

Up
 
Ultrasound at 13 weeks
 
A child, I'd curl up small at night
in moonlight's brittle calm
and make believe I rested safe
within a giant palm.
 
This bell of muscle rings you round
as never fingers could
until the birthday when you come
to claim your personhood;
 
for now, this image speaks for you:
a snowflake hand outflung
proclaiming human, greeting us
in every human tongue.

Up


The Raptor in Winter

above the snow
a shingled limb
fractures the sky
of frozen blue
 
taut as a bud
a raptor waits
upon its length
unmoved until
 
led by his sense
he launches from
this lichened perch
to hang in air
 
folds in his wings
and simply falls
his being become
pure cynosure
 
and in his drop
this utter will
extends beyond
his taloned reach
 
senses the earth
and pulls him back
from plummet's end
as ever before
 
still mastering
the ageless pull
of earth for life
he yet will serve

Copyrights @ Kona Macphee

Up

Tails
 
The silvered windows at Tullamarine
glowed with a travelling red-gold flush,
the mirrored skim of the sun's dawn disk
that fired the skin of the incoming planes.
 
My own plane, out there, closing in,
was winding up our wait like a reel.
The minutes hung on a shortening line
I could not lengthen; nor could I unwind
 
your shrinking, tightening curl of spine
that suddenly craned to the floor, pulled back
a tiny payload, Queen's head tailed
by a coiled echidna: five Australian cents.
 
Here you are, dear: that little gain
a talisman to loss, you passed it on,
and silence spoke beneath our voices then,
the bones of your hand enclosed in mine.
 
Through the passengers' gate, gripping your coin
like a cool change to the flame of my palm,
Tails, I thought, and I'll see you again,
but didn't toss, no, couldn't toss that coin.
 
I learned something recently. Did you know
echidnas dig themselves to ground in fire?
The firefront passes, and through smoking earth
a spine foretells the phoenix ashy beast.
 
I saw this in a film and thought of you,
your windfall coin, your own grey ash
in a funeral garden braced by gums,
those hungry, grey-green, fire-feeding trees.
 
The coin I've kept --- you'd laugh, I know ---
on the inside lid of my writing tin,
silvering the pens' red, black, green, grey,
and on those sweet rare days when the words
come deeper than voice, I flip the lid
to take my pen, and there it is: Tails.

Up

He Says No


The night before the first course
he strafed his own head to a spare fuzz,
burned the fallen strands in a flat dish
with oak leaves and rosemary.
The stubble came away inside a week,
spiking his pillow and palms, ungatherable.
 
The first course failed, a big slug
to the odds, but they pressed him on.
He took it again, flat on his back
for the fat cannula, desperate measures
drip-fed to his chastened veins.
The second treatment also failed.
 
Ready to stop, he was beaten down
by the brandished advice of specialists,
pinned on the tines of his anxious family:
but here on the ward, prepped and bedded
for another dose of toxic Maybe,
he comes to himself. Says No. No more.
 
He ports his sick frame to the highlands
where spring comes late, but comes anyway,
spatters grace on the hills' shaved curves.
For a while the phone hums with rumours
of miracle cures, but he demurs
politely, not at all unsure:
 
he's found his transient medicines ---
his strewn hills, his veers of earth
all bare and limblike, limber and awake,
his yet-green oak-trunk cored to a husk
by fungus, full of light; all these
are a bootstrap redemption. An answer. His own.
 
You visit, ask how he is. He smiles,
fingers the twin scarred ridges on his nails
that gloss like tree rings, telling history,
holds out the baffled stigma of his happiness
and says to you I know who I am,
and you see it in his face. He does. Yes.

Up

A prayer
 
She holds me naked in her natal hand,
unfurling me like wheat-seed in the rain:
o hold your fingers close, for I am sand.
 
And when my stricken ear must understand
the dirge beneath the drumming of the vein,
she holds me fragile in her faithful hand:
 
o confiscate the heart's hard contraband,
 the worm, the creeping fracture in the pane ---
o hold your fingers close, for I am sand.
 
And as the dark foreshadows its demand
and dogs the dwindling bounds of my domain,
she holds me weary in her watchful hand:
 
o let me bind the days already spanned
like garlands round the hours that remain ---
o hold your fingers close, for I am sand.
 
And as the harvest gathers on the land,
and as the sickle scythes across the grain,
she holds me silent in her simple hand:
o let your fingers fall, for I am sand.

Up
 
My People


my people
pass through gardens untouched by the toxic pollen of lilies
sway with the pre-factored rhythm of skyscrapers flexing in strong wind
thicken the air at night clubs and bus stops and cab ranks with their absence
 
my people
speak with the voices of ten million leaves, of earthquakes and dust motes
feed on starlight and moonshine and fallen crumbs of consumed dreams
grow with the vegetable fierceness of beansprouts, knowing that no growing is death
 
when they come
outracing planes whose snail trails silver the hollow sphere of the air
from earth where coal can burn twenty years in an underground seam
by sea, with sodium fire in their radiant lungfuls of water
 
their hands
will greet me with gestures that flux into silent legions of butterflies
will bear astounding weight with the sevenfold strength of ants
will move over me like perfect maggots purging the flesh of wounds
 
my people
are moving somewhere, trailing in wakes of their purpose the seasons
are wrung by an appetite gnawing at glaciers and atoms and bricks
are tirelessly looking for me, but in the wrong house, or country, or century

Copyrights @ Kona Macphee

Up

The
Earth

 

  The
Moon

 

The Lake Eden Eye

 

 

 

 

The Window of the Heavens Always Open and Calling: All We Have to Do Is: To Choose to Be Open, Listen and Respond

 

 

 

Imagine a Rose-Boat

Imagine a rose floating like a tiny little boat on this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds you are love's working-map

 

 

Only in the transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true face of what truth is: That what  beauty paints, that what music sings, that what love makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule exposition, against the spread of this awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe. Only through the path of seeking, learning, asking and developing, only through the vehicles and vesicles of knowledge, only through listening to the endless springs flowing beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach, of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite, it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the miracle of infinite liberty: without border, limitation or end. There is nothing better, larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than to simply be and do love. The Humanion

 

Poets' Letter Magazine Archive Poetry Pearl

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The Humanion Online Daily from the United Kingdom for the World: To Inspire Souls to Seek

At Home in the Universe : One Without Frontier. Editor: Munayem Mayenin

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First Published: September 24: 2015