I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

19 February 2013

Cleaning the Mind

The rain is intermittent
its music cannot hold,
the sad cafes are emptying
along the river bank,
the sky's washed fresh.

A boatman paddles
thinner into distance,
buffalos loll
to their ears in wet,
the paddies are pale gold.

A garden open to the eye,
a beach without a footprint.
Clear and straight, I journey
back to a time of light
no grime obscures.


Published in Universe Cat, Pariah Press (Melb.) 1985 
and Secret Leopard, Alyscamp Press (Paris) 2005.

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #84
Alas, I was too late to submit it for dVerse Poetics: Leonard Cohen and Placewhere it clearly belongs.

Once upon a time I had a very romantic affair, in Bali, with the young man who first introduced me to the poems, novels and songs of Leonard Cohen. He used to sing Cohen's 'Suzanne' to me, implying that I was his Suzanne. This poem was written years after that relationship ended, when the happy memory helped me deal with some unpleasantness in my life. It's a very old poem now, but perfect for that prompt.

22 comments:

  1. dang...really good rosemary....particularly the boatman in the middle and the buffalo...of course i love the rain in the first part as well..i rather like its music...

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  2. The rain is intermittent
    its music cannot hold,
    the sad cafes are emptying...lovely images.

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  3. Excellent poem, Rosemary; and I enjoyed the story too. Bali...how cool. Sometimes, even if you wouldn't do the same kind of thing today, these early affairs of the heart make for nice memories. (I have a few as well...smiles.) How wonderful to have someone sing Suzanne to you!

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  4. "A beach without a footprint" - this line grabbed me.

    Really enjoyed reading this!

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    1. It was a long stretch of beach between Kuta and Legian. I don't think it is so deserted now!

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  5. Lovely, I real enjoyed the second stanza--the imagery is very good.

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  6. Enjoyed your opening lines..caught my attention..nice work!

    The rain is intermittent
    its music cannot hold,

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  7. cleaning the mind it is....like closing of events for a day!

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  8. Cleansing... there is a place of purity and innocence...
    enjoyed this! = )

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  9. A boatman paddles
    thinner into distance...LOVE this...and cleaning the mind is such a good and healthy things...beaches without footprints..new clean space to walk...a felt write

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  10. A beach without a footprint ... love that line. Have you been looking at my blog header?

    Seriously, this is well written. The images allow the reader to be able to get a rough idea of where it is in the world (I got South East Asia, but not Bali specifically) without giving everyting away too soon. That first stanza coud have been Paris, for example. It is that sense of mystery and intrigue that drew me further into the place and the story.

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  11. I journey
    back to a time of light
    no grime obscures.


    I especially like that...

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  12. Spent time in SE Asia and seen scenes like this...

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  13. A really beautiful poem Rosemary! Love the images and especially that last line, nice to go to that place where no grime obscures :-)

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  14. Lovely share ~ I specially like:

    A garden open to the eye,
    a beach without a footprint.

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  15. empty beach and clear light sound lovely

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  16. "A boatman paddles
    thinner into distance," beautiful Rosemary!

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  17. Many thanks to all for 'getting' it so thoroughly. :)

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