"I, In the Membership of My Days"
(Poems by: Richard Harris)
 
 
 
     
  Membership Days  
A Tramp Shinning
   
 

I
in the membership of my days
stand
outside the farthest heartbeat
of my nearest member
cracking in love
breaking beyond my point
seeing the stones
in my heart
part
my waters without end
shading shadows on my dearest tomb
too early in my fall

I
who broke my own
lie broken in the laughter of my game
lives sideways
Inside out and outside in
upside down
in the empty town
of my own making
call out clear
in the lighthouse harbour
sail in deafness
afarid an answering call
too pround in shipwrecked fields
to grasp the saving line

I
born from a cubic womb
hammered
my shape to ring circle
around the moon of my genesis
blazing unending fight
across the jaded cobwebbed
living rooms
stirring lives to light
grassing endlessly
inflashbulbed streams of honour
ceased to flow as nature drew
wrapped on pulp and tissue
as useless as it was helpless

I
who lay inside me
sleeping
daylong hungry hours
suspecting the tired impulses of my feelings
sought all things uneasy
in the easy streets of recompense
reconciled with myself
turning my cheek
in a narcissistic blow
falling headlong into my own charity

I
who was sin
began
committing myself
When bread was first broken
on the public altar of my greed
waited for love too long
too late in the forty years of my sun
to run again in fancy speed
to seek a hideout for my seed
Unlike others
bought the book
made the rules
committing offenses
in the borad room of my desire

I
who was stone
carved
my grief in granite
heaving the rock to shoulder
bolder than my step
strode in march and willow bank
sank to the height of my weight
too smart to see
the stupid on my back
flung out days in waste
stripping the calendar of my years

I
who was father and son
children
to my theme
retarded th espirit in my flock
staged in the theatre of my orphanage
blank in the make-up mirror
doctored the lines across the stained glass
painting suggestions
on images without reflections
trying to make visible
lines that were invisible
and never really there

I
who was earth
fathered
my own bone
running from the sound and fragrance
of touch and taste
failed to sight
the apocalypse in my marrow
having no beginning
saw no end
failed to comprehend
the shapeless space
running through the gaps in my mould

I
who was Lazarus
beggar
in my rich
waited in my tomb
fighting shafts of restoring light
lying in needless numb
locked out the air
weaved in death a canopy
sheltering my rest from miracles
sang requiems to my skeleton
black as the mass I served in my offer

I
who was
I
without
me
cannot recall living
was from the beginning
born
dead

Richard Harris -- July 1970

 
     
 
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