Malcolm Evison

Rookie - 0 Points (15 June 1944 / Canterbury)

Listening To Mahler [ A Response In Six Movements] - Poem by Malcolm Evison

1

Have I lost the need
to weep

the power and the beauty
the freedom and the fire
tremble through my body.

The beauty – the beauty
the beauty and the power
tremble through my mind –

heavy with joy I want
to weep –
drunk with longing I need
the tears to weep
at the tragic and majestic
power – the power and the beauty.

Beauty, power, tragedy and fear –
and I can’t weep.

Have I lost
the power to weep –
the beauty, such beauty and
such power.


2

relax
a little
gently, slowly, rest –
now waiting, urging on the day
grasping
each nuance as it comes.

Slowly burning
through the air –
my song
resounding in the sea
gently, lyrically
and then
I start to skip-a-long, to dance,
dance arminarm around the earth
and then start dreaming.

Lushly sliding, skipping and prancing
struck dumb
for a moment
succumb again
to the power,
the tragic happiness of knowing
of being and living
enslaved
by the melodies of life
free and captive to her whims.

Free and beautifully gliding
living and alive.


3

moving, singing
dancing and laughing
cutting sharply
all springtime and in love.

In love and diving
deeper diving – driving lower
then exalted / and softly degraded
and next I’m snarling
at my fears.

And violently into the present time
I’m tossed, active being
to and fro-ing as the cancer
spreads
and bursts
into a shower of crystal.

My ears hesitate behind
my eyes – my mind is dreaming –
and I am sharing your pain
and your pleasure
living within you, viewing wider
horizons
sharing my body and mind
with you; with all
born out of the grass and trees –
as each new thought becomes
a world, and each new world
is me.


4

the words of two minds
and a thousand ears, become
those of one world.
Words of belief, of faith and trust –
songs of the children
unborn and dying,
accepting their deaths
with dignity
living their lives

with pleasure and ease.
Delights of the dream arouse
their desires – a sombre pleasure
a woeful joy. The need for love
as strong as I need tears –
weaving the largest into the smallest
weaving past greatness
into the hearts of children.

And this laborious mission
has a goal of joy – your eyes are smiling
now
and in their reflection
I see my life.


5

Gloriously the birth and mirth
of Christ, who lived a hero – died a man.
The innocent know far more understanding
than the callous heart –
their voices echo and thunder
from a mountain stream into
a waterfall.

Cutting through the hills and trees
carving the tree
into the shape of man –
until the wood takes its revenge.

And in the days of youth,
which is our life – there comes a reckoning

the tingle and the bitter fruit
of age

still
we rejoice.


6

Body and mind alone can never make
a man –
as we walk
through the valley
of tranquil thoughts, the beauty
pressures us
to face the truth –
each step discovering
the jungle and the pit, each life day
drinking from the streams
pausing a while and kneeling down
to praise the men who made
us what we are –
and God who we created
gave us life, as it floats sweetly from
the wounded side
of Christ.

Casting aside the altars, so every man
woman and child
may wear the ring of wedlock
in their soul.

Calmly I retrace my steps
and see my faults,
back to the garden – sit down
in the fioelds and sigh for the sun.
throw wide your arms and thighs,
embrace the living – forget the dead
who readily received their joys,
who gave us life and pleasure.

I need to weep no more – I sit
just sit and listen
listen to the open spaces.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 6, 2006



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