Friday, 25 March 2011

Andreas Andersson

Man leaving his ships behind

Wet sand as you reach land, the prow
making an incision in that smoothed out surface
but this new earth, this terra nullius,
won't bleed, like the old
never bleed. The ship in the roads
like a cut umbilical cord
the end of a rope.

You don't turn around.

You make deep imprints in the sand with your feet,
as if to say: I was here
or maybe you stake your claim
the way children do with every touch.
Oh well, it's harmless enough;
when the tide withdraws
they'll be gone - not a sign of you.

Inland you do greater harm,
cut down trees, strip mine the mountains,
build, first a church, then a shopping mall, a parking structure.

As night comes on it's so bright
the stars can't be seen.
If night is like day, when, oh when,
will we get to enact our play
our well-rehearsed pantomime.
And what's worse, how will you find
your way home, how will you know for sure
earth's end and heaven's onslaught.


Peter Greene said...

Thanks, Andreas. From harm may come good...who knows? Striving, agony or no: that's what I say. An excellent poem; enjoyed it.


gerry boyd said...

Nice work. 'Inland you do greater harm' is the great line here around which, for me, the entire poem revolves. Bravo.

Andreas said...

Thank you, Peter and Gerry.