What happened? There was a fault.
What’s a fault?
It’s when one piece of the earth juts above another.
Why does that happen?
Because the explosions down below
go on forever.
But did that fault lie with an individual?
It was the earth’s; it is beyond us.
The seething energy-city, ever greedy to accelerate –
did its makers long to sharpen that fault,
draw on the lava,
to blow themselves to pieces: were they like lemmings,
yawning blueprints for giddy layers of highway;
did they suck in any poison? Abrasive ardour,
thin flanges slicing
to release the primal ooze.
The bottom fell out
and all things gathered,
reverted to their origins,
in skips, on pavements,
fell to casual hands.
But in the pit
of all exhaustion,
at the bottom of grip’s loss
are seeds and roots
which in their throbbing cycles
breathe out on pine and belt.
The bottom stood solid.
I touched a scorpion; it struck.
It was my fault; I had been warned –
but for one split second
its beauty-fascination wrenched me
from reason’s ice.
I don’t think anyone could find a scorpion ugly.
They shine too.
Writhing and smarting from the sting,
I lashed out, struck on something soft
I couldn’t see.
Again, pure venom’s shudder,
then eagles, condors,
circled, launched and swooped.
Did they fly within my slipstream, or I in theirs?
Through what was what transcended?
Who was the real predator?
So much happened;
so much didn’t –
so nice to remember;
so painful to recall
Now nothing is all,
the power to recall
is an anaesthetic –
In the middle,
what’s kept still here,
what was and is gone,
what never was –
All comes to ground, abrades,
that’s nice and clear,
for retroaction blends fact
solid in sense – incense.
Old channels must live anew.
(Note: The above poems are from the collection An Ever River, published by Palewell Press, U.K.)
About the Author
David Russell b. 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published online in International Times. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Self’s Blossom; Explorations; Further Explorations; Therapy Rapture; Darlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies). Self-published collection of erotic poetry and artwork, Sensual Rhapsody, 2015. Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell.’