House of Blues
You live for these songs you inhabit
time and time over:
In them you uncover
nerve endings of truth, distil the essence
of longing and loss –
They fit you like old shoes, a favourite jacket.
Like broken butterflies they visit
through cracks in windows
and shut doors.
You cradle a guitar, your body sways
with the melody.
In your voice the miles
of distances travelled,
the warm contours and frayed edges
of the places your heart has been.
Now and again I strike a match in the dark
and scratch the surface of longing.
To be steady in one’s work,
and patient as a sail
that waits for the wind to fill it.
Birds stitch the morning into being with their song.
“View from My Window at Dawn”
The darkness lifts, becomes something lighter.
From her window
she watches the light, now only
a shift, a paler patch of sky,
trace the beginnings of the day.
Lights go on in windows, while others stay dark.
A brushstroke light or firm –
colours and textures revealing a city
suspended between sleep and waking.
She paints quickly.
A desire insistent, frustrating, to render all of it
truthfully, as it is.
A lightness, gladness in her heart –
in this silence, alone at dawn.
This blue-and-grey-tinged world, she knows, will soon
disappear, give way to a harsher light;
to the traffic and noise
of the street below.
But as it is lost, begins
to fade away, she sees that some of it, at last,
is there now:
a threshold place of light and dark,
of lights in windows, of chimneys and rooftops,
and far off buildings;
and of a light which, like the sky,
seeps through by degrees
from the window, porous, wet still,
of the canvas.
Now, if only for this moment,
no other world exists
save for the one she conjures
in this lamp-lit room.
Figure in a painting –
from the canvas,
tells the painter
of her dreams.
- Eduard Burle