Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Race to the sky

by Samuel Fold

Dead of night and where it begins, 
Is in that spacious attic room.
Old toys and dust bunnies tumble from split boxes,
Spiders webs lit in moonlit shafts and troubled
Imaginations light fires in worn books.
The secrets we learn, we learn them here.
And flee. 

And the way it goes is just that way you know,
With tear-drops and tea cups and sunlight sun spots,
Know the faces, love them, love them.
Love them even more in memories.

Creeping over cracked worn floorboards
Knowing where to place your feet
While your heart pounds and imagination flowers in
The young black night. Be cloaked and calmed 
While dust winks in the moonlight 
And she from the other place
Nods her quiet approval.

And the way it goes is just that way you know,
With tear-drops and tea cups and sunlight sun spots.
That's just the way it goes with love,
We change and yet we stay the same.

The other place is down the hall 
and across the lane.
Through the rusty old gate at the end
Of that old garden path.
The weeds are growing thick as the leaves
Turn burnished gold and shed memories
Of youthful explorations into new worlds of vision.
Where that old path is not a path, but a voyage
Into discarded new universes, shed like animal skins
Which envelop our diminutive selves.
For a little while, that's just the way it goes.

Hers is the face we never see in windows.
But in mirrors and fractured purple skies.
In blue padded days we find our friends 
And sit together as we rise and fall together.
The guitar strains and pulls us back to those
Abandoned homes and blistered wallpapers.

And the way it goes is just that way you know.
We run and run, the river at our side,
The sun at our back, the city is our horizon.

Follow me, follow her, take your own path
Or forge through bramble and snicket.
Collecting spiderwebs and fine trails of blood
On your delicate teenage legs.
Commit the ode to memory, I shall not
Look behind me lest my step quicken,
Heart begins to race and trees
Begin to stoop as each sound reminds
Me of black bruises on skin and stifled cries
Through walls.

Sit back, expand and breath in, keep breathing
And hold still, hold their faces in your mind.

The revelation is clear, the meaning is lost.
Cos' that's the way it goes, that way you know
That faces and smiles are lost like rings,
And found, and found with bursts
Of clarion bells which ring from your flowing hair
And tender lips.

And the novels, the music, and the pictures at the cinema
Are only faint vibrations of matter.

Follow her, follow him. A race to the sky,
A race from weeds in pavement cracks
To cracks in that volcanic sky.

And the way it goes it just that way you know.
With tear-drops and tea cups and sunlight sun spots.
That's just the way it goes with love,
We change and yet we stay the same.

Added: 25.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

06.05.2010

Distinctive repetitive style creates resonance, an incantatory effect.

06.05.2010

Very good poem. You have a natural flow to your petry.

09.05.2010

A very deep and sensitive work. Well done.

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