銀河鉄道の夜 | Night on the Galactic Railroad

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

I will catch that train, with the ghost of myself
and in company that can only — enigmatically — perplex.
I hope you will be there,
vivider that I ever remember you being — perhaps
unsettlingly so, despite all my larger-than-larger-
than-lifesize love.
What we see on our journey from the carriage windows
will be conjured up magically specially for us:
vistas of meaning, in no uncertain terms;
lessons too quick for my slow human reason;
questions I could never live up to, in life.
We’ll alight at a station called CHINAMAN CREEK
and swerve right at the fence-post down our old Quartz Chip Hill
still covered in coffee bush, sundews, milkmaids, pin-cushions
and those ragged yellow flowers
that only ever grew here.
Then, skirting the blunt, stony banks of expansive Big Pond —
where the solitary cormorants come hunting for fish —
we’ll veer off left up the kangaroo track,
pock-marked and pitted by the pointy front-claw on the creature’s back-foot
till we reach the narrow ridge, in good time for sunset.
A late sun-shower in the brilliant solar glow
will leave us glistening in our skins, as we catch our first glimpse
of that tall-austere pine,
branches covered in distinct, spiral cones
and combing air fragrant with needle-faint evergreen hush,
as a sign. At that instant,
as we shift our gaze to the East,
we’ll see a perfect double rainbow bridging twilit sky
and beneath — in slow-motion —
a weightless full moon that is holding our breaths
as it starts to rise clear of the dark Earth’s rim.

From Unlight to Sunlight

Photo by Bella White on Pexels.com

You never stay long in the same moment.
Anything — remotely — you have ever once been
finds a way back through memory, briefly re-
joined. Time — seamless and without fixture —
somehow sediments itself into graver-denser mixtures
the richness of which becomes easily beyond bearing.
You seafare to the Sun and the Moon’s GLOWMOTION
towards the shifting heart of this exponentially widening ocean
(trackless unharbour of a sum total absence of harbours)
and what keeps you sane at the end of the day
at the end of sanity’s bare edge
is the simplest of prayers whispered all along the full length
of your each and every out-breath,
unpious and without demands:
Thank you.

Even Still Lives . . .

Across glass across the rich pre-morning dusk,
quizzical and direct,
the mother stared, as did the hidden joey
through the peephole in her bulging fur-lined pouch ⸺
four wide bright kangaroo eyes
dead set against me staying even one minute longer
on my mattress on the floor
in stupid sleep. Frost
was in the air,
was all over in me,
any personal warmth quite dexterously extinguished
along goose-bumped human skin. But for all that,
mist lifted in shape-shifting sheets off the small pond
as if to say: See,
is on its way! And don’t go thinking
the feebleness of this sign
makes the outcome any less certain!
Saturn could shine for all he was worth
up towards the North, canary- or sulphur-yellow,
but these kangaroos had no time for him:
today, I was their object and nothing else on this Earth would do . . .
Dressed gingerly by now inside crumpled coldish clothes
I knelt and watched back,
humming absent-mindedly an old Swedish song
about a stable-boy called Staffan,
who was, no doubt, at another moment just like this,
watering sina fålar fem
his beautiful five young horses ⸺
probably wide-eyed to his every move,
maybe naturally starry-eyed, too,
as he made up his own tune out of hay scents
and the rank stink of piss
through the careful-tactile stages of his work ⸺
more to do with blind touch than sight ⸺
for the spark of life kindling again out of nowhere within him
in that frigid lidless twilight before dawn.

You can listen to one version of the Swedish song here.

Six Letters, Starting with “A”

Evette KWOK_2 SEP 2019

A short word against the run of play
thirteen billion years long;

ETERNITY’s unassuming twin, first voice
of that tall-tale Big Bang;

its effortless forever bears just the right weight
of each thing;

inconspicuous amen, fresh whenever
whoever we are wakes

snug in the palm of its deft left hand
to plant the teaspoon-span of our only lives

down with the dust, dust —
slow-down diamonds of dirt and dust —

daily with the brief human galaxies.
(Solution: always . . . )


Photograph: 香港西貢赤徑 Chek Keng, Sai Kung, Hong Kong (Evette Kwok 2019)


Bell Lung Yeuk Tau Tin Hau Temple_7 APR 2016

At this point in time
a finger on the trigger is the only fact you can possibly make headroom for
while your opponent ⸺
if there is such an assailant ⸺
manages to snaffle every hiding-place on offer
in this weather-boarded weather-beaten ghost-town.
needles on the cacti spike out an extra inch of their substance;
a whole small mountain
removes itself in equal measures of fine dust and sand
to relocate
in horse winds galloping the prairie or in long lung-linings
elastic with howl in a grey wolf;
you feel the rougher molecules
in particles, then atoms densely packed
in discrete motes of steel, as texture ⸺
out of thin air ⸺ overtakes by stealth
all those sources of distraction in your porous cowboy head.
You don’t exactly lose yourself
in this quest for concentration,
but, in blinding sunset’s molten yellow glare,
as your man-shadow lengthens past the point of no return
it is you who go off ⸺
not that figment of a firearm you once held in your hand
and when you turn for home
puzzling in this dark adaptation
and navigating by new stars in your personal undergalaxy,
there is no time to spare even one last thought
for any Wild Western smoking gun’s linger . . .


Photograph: 香港龍躍頭天后宮 Tin Hau Temple, Lung Yeuk Tau, Hong Kong