Tuesday 5 November 2013

3 Poems by Peter Thompson

Tao Fung Shan
              (South China)

The gong sounds
long and far from the brass...
and dragonflies everywhere
on this sharp golden hill
They are all golden
and go silent
in yellow stalks of grass
The gong sounds
and pale hills drift
in sandy shapes beyond...       (from the book Late Liveries)

Of Each

Faces in the strange
lurching wanly into light
        so familiar
        as if of ourselves
        call them friends

the circle of light
flicker of our moments
        and then it wanders
as if of ourselves
our love

the lambency in them
the hover in each ghost
        before it wanders
        as if of ourselves
        this the soul

the dark they stagger in from
heartlessness theirs and mine
        neglect so familiar
        as if of ourselves
        is riven life

and how we hold them                (from the book  Shades)

Bacon Bits

The mind of course prefers
to see itself aloof
in satin of a cool hue
yet all the while these sides
of beef yawn above it
unfurling hacked ribs like wings
bracing like blood shutters
It knows
It is even at times
aware of the smell of cold meat
This much does the mind allow
of its materiality
and screaming within
frosted walls
and a few seams of light
the nth time deny it                     (on a Francis Bacon painting, from my book Angle of Incidence)


Peter Thompson's books of poetry include Late Liveries, Shades and Angle of Incidence, and books of song lyrics include Daybreak and New Words. He has edited two anthologies of French literature, and translated books by Léon-Paul Fargue, Véronique Tadjo, Nassira Azzouz, Nabile Farès and (forthcoming) Tchicaya u Tam'si and Abdelkébir Khatibi. He edits Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation.

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