Monday, July 5, 2010

No Ordinary Sun

I passed some wild ideas by my son today.  I often do.

Our discussion honed in on the atomic testing that took place in the Pacific during the second half of the recent century.  He quoted a line from a poem he has been studying at school & tucked inside it were three words: -

'the monstrous sun'

After my recent sideways look at the sun, I was intrigued.

I read the poem No Ordinary Sun - for me it sparkled ideas from past & current research.

I think it can be very powerful to turn 
our worlds, 
our words, 
our history, 
our selves 
& our knowledge 
upside down for a little while.

You just never know what might fall out.

The following poem by Hone Tuwhare, might be talking of a tree that has felt the effects of nuclear testing.

But perhaps it is not.

It might be talking about your life.

Or mine.

Or it might be making a humanitarian offering -  reminding us to look again...

... at what we have worshipped or still are worshipping.

To check carefully at what price admission is charged...

... & to remember that we can lower our arms &
get up off our knees

... if we choose.

let your arms fall:
raise them not sharply in supplication
to the bright enhaloed cloud.
Let your arms lack toughness and
resilience for this is no mere axe
to blunt nor fire to smother.

Your sap shall not rise again
to the moon’s pull.
No more incline a deferential head
to the wind’s talk, or stir
to the tickle of coursing rain.

Your former shagginess shall not be
wreathed with the delightful flight
of birds nor shield
nor cool the ardour of unheeding
lovers from the monstrous sun.

Tree let your naked arms fall
nor extend vain entreaties to the radiant ball.
This is no gallant monsoon’s flash,
no dashing trade wind’s blast.
The fading green of your magic
emanations shall not make pure again
these polluted skies . . . for this
is no ordinary sun.

O tree
in the shadowless mountains
the white plains and
the drab sea floor
your end at last is written...

... Or then again, do we take hold of a mighty pen & claim the right to right our own ending-slash-beginnings.