New Writing: Two Poems By Rob Yates
The Tung is pleased to continue its relationship with poet Rob Yates by showcasing two new poems.
Ideas for away
Proximity of death away from home
leading to excitement.
Ideals of community
witnessed in a Ghanaian boarding school.
Conversations about grand projects – vague heads.
The growth of home’s symbolic potential
away from home.
The Lyre bird – the link to a bird lying.
Being away from home. There, dissecting
binary imaginative systems.
The dual purposes of literature:
a building of illusion
and its clearing.
Ex-pats forgotten by their own, only homes.
Working out if this is tragic or not.
People approaching death being self-obsessed.
Takoradi market. Beyin stilt village.
Idea of home being where you needed
to be. Image of monkey tied to post –
find another thing.
The wonder of choirs and cathedrals
before satellite navigation.
That tale from Hojoki; families shipped
downriver, Old Kyoto to Osaka Bay,
dismantling of homes, them floating on
the Yodo, houses on a huge stream.
Strange elements of Africa back home,
savannah in the aisles, a Gugaku
performance and the depression
of homecoming, the abstinence.
The traces a new bulb leaves in your eye.
John Muir’s quote about being
‘a transparent tabernacle’
tabernacle – ‘mishkan’ – a ‘dwelling place’
Kleinzahler calls them ‘deracinated orphans’
or sorry ghosts. I can’t remember them.
Believes his parents owe him listening.
Internal still, rushing exterior
Draining a Tuscan reservoir reveals
an old village beneath, blubbering mud,
how frightening would swimming be?
Travel as an extension of childhood.
Sorrow as a mark of true goodness.
Not the powdered stuff.
an ancient Maori goddess placed sandflies
to keep men out.
Memory of children being unable to sleep.
Forever needs more work.
-- -- --
Yes, going up into the great
hull quiet of the world I hung
there stinging, leaving no dull mark.
Was galloping? Was altitude? Was poetry?
What is there back home? Gutters and thunk, less
movement than the straits, more friends.
But God, ‘twas sad and necessary!
I was leaving and afeard.
Utter bliss was it
in that dawn
to be a something.
One thinks later:
‘we’ll be nothing soon’ –
a settling, the grand diminish, blunt yarns.
-- -- --
Rob Yates is currently based in London following a two year stint abroad in Indonesia and New Zealand. He is working through a third draft of a second novel and has had poetry and fiction appear in Bodega, Agenda, Envoi and other magazines.