Tuesday 7 October 2008

Black lake

Today is uninterrupted, I can write. Am listing future phone calls and letters as I think of them. P guards the gate.

Yesterday evening, poetry reading with my Whitireia classmates at L's, a nice evening. We may keep in touch after the course is over.

The poem I read is called - for the time being - Away from here. Here is the last bit:

I would like to be that lake now -
black, silent, reflecting cloud, rock and snow,
the ruffle of a small sharp breeze, and then still
again. No fish, no bird, no other being.

Is it an ode to Death - frozen stillness except for the breeze? ...no fish, no bird... - so much non-life. Except for ...no other being... someone is there, maybe me? maybe not? The breath of air, wairua, ruffles the water.

Ruach noshevet al pnei ha mayim...
A wind breathes on the face of the water, says the Israeli poet Rachel (my translation). Ruach can mean both wind and spirit, I realise. More and more biblical. Checking Genesis 1:2, and the words ruach and al pnei ha mayim are there - but God's spirit (ruach elohim) 'hovers' over the water, merachefet, not noshevet.

Or is this poem about longing to be a Zen person in a black robe, anchored on a black cushion? Noshevet has for me the connotation, the sound, of the passive tense of Yashav, he sat. In the feminine - she was sat.


Watched the Leonard Cohen documentary I'm your man and the music is in my head all the time, wake up with it, go to sleep with it. I'm dying to sing that song- If it be your will. Found Anthony singing it on You tube, better than LC himself - took down most of the words. Seeing/hearing the MacGarrigle sisters in the film - a flashback. We must be the same age.

I set the timer for eight minutes and it rang - ages ago.

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