John Dowdall

Rookie - 131 Points (08/10/1973 / Dublin)

Clay - Poem by John Dowdall

A boy looks into a space that has opened,
to see into it cannot be achieved by mere
eyes, the grasses green and the sands
shifting are fading into ethereal light
as sight is dying of another exsistant
plain where grazing creatures graze with
others beside him and the last breath of
wind fades into the dissolving stillness
where clay fades into clay.

In the barn, the scent of dung
was fusing with the snow and biting
cold and a young calf's afterbirth smell,
no help required, as nature took her
course and there was but one single
forlorn witness, a solitary boy, with
mittens, too fragile a little creature
for the cold, looking like a part of the
scene that imagined himself invisible.
To young to feel strong from the making
of the soul by many disappointments,
missed opportunities and unrequited loves.

He stood there stoically against the
bitter winter cold, looking at the
green-grey sky between stone and
galvanized but the harmony all around
him seemed like a separate world to him
when, as if to birth him, a question
came to mind, 'Why do I despair that
there is something that I am yet
to hear, or am yet to learn for myself,
and when I do I will confirm myself,
find comfort and become as calm
as a green summer sea? ' No loss to find
the object of desire except the loss
of being a child standing against the cold.

His voice was silent, no other noise,
but a circumabulating wind, against
the tin and stone, and the cawing of a
distant rook and a engine motor miles
off and as the boy stood alone in his
surrounds he felt as if he couldn't feel,
as if he couldn't move. All mankind builds
continuously, but this boy does not yet
build, he sees that the day is like a
Venetian-blind that masks a part of the
universe and then night reveals a glimpse
of that tiny piece. Although, he knows
more of it is known.

In uninspiring times, nothing stirs this
world to feel sensations from other
plains, the heavens contain signs which
are present through the ages, formed in tiny
moments of creation, which set the task to read
them, simple as that, but no one has ever read
them fully right, just as it was for Cleopatra,
Mark Antony died betrayed in battle by his muse,
as her star guided his ship, and a only a few
Prophets may have seen more of creation than
other men and then returned to tell the town.
Although, there is only hope of this bequeathed
to us, these things seem uncertain.

Fundamental energies resonate in this universe,
and minute particles make up the scene for
the eye, opposing binaries base creation,
although binaries are not so crude,
that they deny the subtlety and freedom of
self will. To know, that to live is to be blinkered,
but the glimpse we catch provides us with the
signs we need. To be true, is to know that everyone
is someone, even the unschooled boy. No one ever
was completely right. To be alive, is to experience
creation forming and dissolving and the self
can be stoic and is confirmed before the star.
Walk out of the barn when you know this:
Clay is your substance, and your sustainer
and your fate.

Topic(s) of this poem: youth


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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 17, 2012

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 24, 2014


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