Existence warms my skin

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Sunday

I've bitten a soft apple of a morning
when blood and mood
jigger the radio of my mind, turning

it in and out of the band
of unaccountable happiness.
What have I forgotten that I can stand

to smile when greyness drips from the lank trees,
dampens the walls
of apartment blocks, and breathes

through the air — when everyone's defeat,
my own as well,
hums unheard in channels down the street?

Then, though nothing apparent has changed,
the day is now graceful
as a salmon gum, the curling mist arranged

in an elegant suit, and the content of all
that myriad
of frequencies is ignored for my small,

present task of walking to church and smiling.
As the parrots call out,
full of their song, I fight this simplifying,

but find its renunciation more true
for a Sunday morning,
like turning off the TV news. At my pew

I kneel, slide in and join the congregation,
cold rocks in the stream,
black planets in the far constellation

of a blazing blue star. A shudder in its iron core
then supernova.
For that great light, no time's required to soar

any distance to where we wait beneath
our ambiguous symbol —
life, yes and death;

love, yes and hate in the nails.
We take communion,
a litany of faces, and each unveils

new need and mystery in upturned eyes.
'Body of Christ',
'Amen', and I turn to go back down the aisle

and through the door, thinking of that vast flash
of pure extent:
how in timelessness it steps the length of space,

how existence in so other a mode
warms my skin
as I walk back along the foggy road,

bathing me closer than my clothes. The light,
sourceless; the sun,
known only by the fact of sight.

Peter Coghill is a physicist from Sydney. His poetry has appeared in Meanjin and Blue Dog.

Topic tags: Peter Coghill, Sunday, new australian poetry

 

 

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Thanks for a treat! :) Shalom!
Nicole Pryor | 12 September 2008


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