“Listening to ‘The Lark Ascending’,” “Last Hours” and “In Starlight”  

Issue 47 by Christopher Johnson

“Listening to ‘The Lark Ascending’,” “Last Hours” and “In Starlight”

Listening to ‘The Lark Ascending’

                             I listen to

                 swells

                                          and

                            falls           of the lark

                  in Williams’ grand tribute to

Albion,

              before the death of Europe

                                                           at Sarajevo.

       Close eyes allowing enough light to

 filter through

                       The river slit, which sways to stillness

                                            like a lost leaf.

                      Then a band of jet skis

                                                    carve

                                           foamed wedges

                                   Through the brown current

          Lads ecstatic in the

                         Promise of summer.

            In     suspended

Half

         thought,

                    Unable to reconcile

  scratched sclerophyll

          With the wet loam of bro   ken   lineage,

                            Another lost colonial,

             unwanted here and home.

               Leaning back on the concrete step as

          A water dragon emerges               from

                                                         Leaf to

                                                 river edge.

      Slip of motion. Tail tracing in dusk.

                               A duck now beats wings brow beam in sun.

Now the gargling ardea modesta        dips its beak

                                     Morpeth

                under                                                     bridge.

            Hear the boys whoop as they spear through in

                    A Powercat,         off to the great opening

by the breakwall                  raising dew-dropped beers

             As I offer a weak salute,

                                       In vain returning to some fusty daydream

        of twittering swallows         and bleating lambs in a

               vague notion of Pastoral.

Last Hours

In all seasons we endured for love:

Love of self and other;

Love for change, continuity;

Soft petal bloom and decay.

Then came years of trial,

Where we tested the fabric of

Our resolve, which, torn through,

We glimpsed beyond the veil

Briefly, into matter that shrouded

Depth, our vision, then fled the

Coming light bounding through

To blind us again, give our illusions,

Circus raiment of our souls;

The consequence we knew not,

And wished to leave for

Those final hours with

Angels of Horror.

In starlight

Bathed in the spirit of a fallen star.

As you gaze at me, resolute,

Strip my naked flesh until

All is exposed in starlight, my soul.

Line upon line,

Word over word,

Root, clay and loam

The earth’s instruments of

Hidden prayer.

A single seed pulses out from

Wet, rotting leaf;

We sing in harmony under

The starry court of heaven.

About the Author

Christopher Johnson

Chris Johnson is an emerging poet based in Newcastle, Australia. He has been published in Tiger Moth Review and The Write Launch. He is currently studying his Master’s at the University of Sydney. Chris is also an Assistant Editor for the Australian branch of World Poetry Journal, an international collaboration aimed at showcasing high quality contemporary poetry.