Tuesday, November 3, 2009

These Amputations

After the finger de-gloving…
the kerbside trailer accident, and surgery…
the Centralian Aboriginal boys
clamboured me around, asking
“Hey mister! Where’s your finger?’

And glib answers, such as:
‘Gone!’ or ‘Ripped Off!’
were by no means any satisfaction
for what they needed know.

And I realized that Our Mind, gripped by
the Hard-Replying Fact of the hospital incinerator
was going to horrify them as much as any after Hitler
tale of tattoed digits at Auschwitz...

Sounding, to Indigenous ears - which value each
bit of being as if Soul is in the digit of every detail -
[Even while living lives self-destructing off the emptiness
of a lost bodily integrity] as sacrilegious somehow…
too much less than sacred in this very real Matter
needing proper grief.

So, I took a step on a mutual foot-road of comprehension
And said: ‘My finger’s gone to God…..
And it’s waiting out there in heaven for
The rest of me to catch up …One Day.’

Satisfied as camp puppies with a pat –
the Aboriginal lads were Convinced.
As if this one I could tell them was the only true story
of me as I am – of things as they are - a story that laid my hard-questing
late finger to its early sublime rest.

But, my fellow worker, who also came with
a disability - in words that came out Amputated
just in the passage of being born –
said: “ Just watch out that God doesn’t
Take the rest of you b-b-bit by b-b-bit.”

But then, of course, after this Laughter …
The Pain …(again!)…
and like a good orchardist pruning
the worth-while trees, he does.
He does. …

and each nail
of wounds keeps us
Smarting in that direction.

Wayne David Knoll

22 August 2008

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Night On the Western Front

First Night On the Western Front

- After Charles Yale Harrison

Out of no-man’s land,
through jags of barbwire
as shaken down as earth’s geology,
in that hell-dark of second watch,
some thing leapt at my face
and I nerved back, probing
the inkblack to gradually begin
to make out a rat - large as a tomcat,
but only slowly discern it so fat,
and then to realize why.

Around Anzac Day 2009 © Wayne David Knoll