Thursday, April 21, 2011

the big journey

louis aston knight view of a chateau

i have often dreamed of a life
in which i
am borne from place to place
inside the soft body of a river


passing through the waving velvet fingers
of silt-borne grasses
the current-whorled
pale-green wool of the river
knits itself around me until
emerging into the silken transparency
of a slow-falling lilac dusk
i draw in my first sweet breath
and watch
a nightingale's song spread gold and silver threads
across the violet expanse


this must be the floweriest place
that earth allows; the queenly face
of the proud mansion borrows grace for grace

italicized words excerpted from edmund blunden's "vlamertinghe passing the chateau"


Jo said...

What a languid, luscious painting this is.
I want to glide silently across the surface of that pale green wool, matching the spread of the nightingale's song measure for measure.

In the slow-falling lilac dusk.


Terresa said...

"i have often dreamed of a life
in which i
am borne from place to place
inside the soft body of a river"

How do you write like this? How??


Radcliffe said...

The painting of the chateau is beautiful - so mysterious looking, one of those paintings that has a dreamy, hypnotic feel to it. You could almost fall into it and walk right up to the chateau and hope that the spell would not be broken. Love the poem - so rich in imagery of colour, feel and mood and sound - truly a feast for the senses.

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

steven, your poem is so quiet, takes us inside the painting and the place leads our senses for a the mysterious dream. The painting is beautiful.

steven said...

jo what a space that painting creates! thanks for travelling there with me! steven

steven said...

terresa - truly because i have dreamed that dream several times. at key points in my life (which i haven't seen as such until later when i can look across the emerging arc of my life) i have dreamt of being a fish in a river and occasionally as a form neither human nor fish. they are dreams that end too soon for me! steven

steven said...

racliffe isn't the painting beautiful! there are stories and poems and more paintings that blossom from looking at that painting. thankyou for your generous comment. steven

steven said...

oa.s, my favourite places are the luscious quiet places. since i was a teenager i've been good at creating them in my mind, through my creative work, and very occasionally in the little space where i intersect with this world. steven

Pauline said...

a romanticized fish-eye view! this is a lovely poem, both in idea and execution!

steven said...

pauline thankyou. a romanticized fish-eye view. it's interesting letting that run off the tongue of the mind . . . . steven

Ruth said...

I think that's what makes this beautiful, Steven, that you have lived this lush, filtered life, filtered by the silt-borne grasses into that silken transparency. Every word is rich and makes me want to live. The image is gorgeous. The whole post gives life.

Reya Mellicker said...

I perceive "reality" as a river with many different currents and flows. Sometimes it's rocky and fast moving, sometimes downright stagnant.

Thank you for explaining what I perceive so beautifully and perfectly. Wow.

aguja said...

A fabulous poem, Steven. I was just carried along by it.

Linda Sue said...


The Weaver of Grass said...

Blunden - one of my all time favourites and not often read these days Steven.
I like your words too - remind me of Ophelia a bit.

Tess Kincaid said...

You and Knight capture those velvet fingers beautifully.

steven said...

ruth - i'm grateful for your sensitive and insightful comment. i try to write from what i know and sometimes from what i have imagined. so a fair call on the part of readers to ask for the distinction to be laid bare! i had a sense of where i needed to be fourty years ago and was able to honour it periodically. at those times the dream this post draws upon was present. a lot like a "welcome back" note. i hope that the post suggests that i am able and more willing to dig deeper now into the more fruitful features of my presence. i really do! thankyou for your encouragement. steven

steven said...

reya - the river i swim in while i am dreaming and then also in the metaphoric world of my knowing is made up much like what you describe. in my dreams it is always wide and slow moving and i am able to move around anywhere i want in its body. the dream is often retrospective and so i see features of my life as symbols some ten to fifteen years ago. steven

steven said...

aguja i am glad you allowed yourself to go with its flow. steven

steven said...

linda sue - entirely and then also as the beatles put it "love your life relax and float down stream" steven

steven said...

weaver i love blunden's writing. i wondered who would pop up and join me in my affection. steven

steven said...

tess our fingers were intertwined. steven

Anonymous said...


steven said...

lilith - thankyou. steven

lucychili said...

great flowing imagery

steven said...

lucychili - great flowing moniker! thanks for the comment! steven