Modern poetry:Did you know stones are frozen white clouds [Archives:2004/777/Culture]

September 30 2004

By Irena Knehtl
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

Change perhaps lay in our silence. And silence was also in flowers.
Where are the cities that buy and sell, merchants of raw silk, glided brocades and , Damasc linen

Traveling with clear power in the sun. Sunlight entered my hands for the purple blue water. I yearn for a sound that is missing. Life seems so fragile, and all its shadows are seasonal, including pain. I saw how my shadow detached itself from a horizon that linked me with others. My shadow has preceded me. How could it recognize that light to which it was attached? This port “World” rose with its terror in an era of defeat and degradation. Terraces after terraces, slope after slope. It named impossible mountains. There was fear and pride in age before beauty. I know not whether lands are grazing ground, or yet home. We think of the past as better forgotten than fixed with stony regret. There were pillars that fell, leaving a blue space where the old Gods stood before. Clouds were rising like leaves from green shade. Then far out at the sea in a sparkling slower arrows of rain arched from the emerald breakwater of the reef. The rivers envying the sea tired of being crossed. I remember this sun burn river and hours drowned like centuries. The fisherman hearing the cries from the ochre shore as they would be the only fisherman left to the world using old ways and who believed their work was prayer to the changing rose of light. The breeze trashed the palms of the cool road. Change perhaps lay in our silence. Have we come to the bend? The names bent like trees in the anchor of sorrow. While others rise from the other direction. With its unsettling shadow but the right journey is motionless. Where the trees are waged by wind and the cliffs. In the sun behind then stood villages and hoisting their arms to the light. Worried by the salt wind. And weather night. Between dawn and dusk. Who glowed and swung like a lantern on the sea. Each boat as capacious as those. Crossing the lowland at dusk of the sea lace. The blue ridges of waves. Then one afternoon, the Ocean lowered and clarified its ceiling, its emerald net after centuries of walking. Chocked with old leaves, old wounds, by blue silent bay. After a night of rough wind rolled over the eyes like pots left out in the rain. A beach now burns their memory copper almond leaves with a stunned summer going. Grass that is going brown. Faces in salad landscapes. In the blue distance as summer winds. Great clouds of rising dust. And butterflies sail in their yellow odysseys. The shadows everywhere wear the same size. The night will say its stars for the first time. I mistook them for lakes. I look through the glass for a land that was lost and a man who was gone. The grass by the river shore is silvery green with its white lace. Where is the light of the world. The packets to tea stirred with our crystals of sweet. Cities that buy and sell. Merchants of raw silk, glided brocades, Damasc linen. Silence was in flower. The weight of the place, its handle, its ancient name. A cloud hangs a branch in the orange hour to the changing rose of light. The dead were singing. The pillars, crossed geometric terraces on the ruined hills and were quiet as the sail. The pink blossoms of an oleander and hum. Villages with cracked plaster walls. The flutes in the square cling like a butterfly to the elbow. An olive branch, freeze from change. Sometime my heart is as hard as that mast. You dream of Africa and pray to your God. Since the rain was shinning and the sun was raising my eyes were clear.
Palm-stripped pavilions, Arab dhows and tea brown rivers. Sandstorm seaming their eyes, horizontal monsoon, and mimosa memories. Everything was forgotten now. The Ocean has changed around every name, tress, men. Because the Ocean had to live, because it was life. Time perhaps – even in its on-rush, even as it moves on – doing new things, repeating old ones. Even further.