Reflections on the Edge, March 2022
As I move the resting wheelbarrow
away from the door of the log shed,
the old privy, I notice how brightly the sun
shines on the wood and the chipped
But, I realise - slowly because it's
early morning - I'm facing the wrong way.
The sunrise is on the other side of
the building. I turn. The
explosions of light in the tall sashes
of our friend's house sear my eyes.
Like bomb bursts, the
obsessive licks of their destructiveness,
like the kicking flame of a cannon,
incinerating lives, hard work,
pride, cultures, memories,
personal and national histories.
Like the reflection of an
atomic test in the darkened goggles of
observers on a 1950s atoll and
other flashbacks the tyrant's words
tease up in our collective unconscious.
Overhead, the roar of a circling plane.
Going to or from the base? I don't know.
Though soldiers fly in and out,
as do arms, aid, prime ministers,
refugees, released political prisoners.
It all happens here.
Well, not quite here. Some way off.
We live on the edge, the world
reflected in the scream of braking
engines or vapour trails, that the
mind neatly learns to zone out.
The cast sun fades, leaving the cold
of the late winter garden and the task
of fetching for the evening's cosy fire
with the news in our hands.