Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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“QUALITATIVE CHANGE”

 

 

 

 

Having been dead for thirty years, Buzz suddenly died,

And the cloudy flesh and the curdy soul were crucified.

The mercury peeled from the mirror, but in the interstices

He watched his sharp passing, saw the death of his enemies

Programmed for near future. There would he no postponement

Ordained from higher centres, no prayers or atonement.

The touch of a hand O lightly freckled his skin, and wan

Pores opened. Hate stiffened and crumbled, and out upon

The historical look-outs of his apperception

The safety fence was strengthened, the telescope’s projection

Freshly adjusted, the lenses polished. Buzz cried, “Thank God for towns,

Those stuccoed churns of growth, for green paddock, for the infinite downs

That have leaped raw and vivid to vision. Thank cod for the birds,

For the labourer passing, uncomplex, for the drill of the sea, for the crates of blue fish, for the words

Soaring and magic and lithe as an eel in my hand. Say, is death

This pure and wide-awake madness, this magnanimous sense, this lilt and delight of the breath?

O down with the shadows that followed my furrow, that seized up my plough. O death to the rust,

Oppressing the sensitive dance of the delicate dust!

At last I can study the poor man’s sores or the seed of the peach,

Without the singed twinging of horror. For my soul is the chatter of sparrows–the swerve of the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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