By William C. Clarke
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38 A Momentary Stay Biographical Note While pursuing an academic career in geography and anthropology in universities in the USA, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji, William Clarke sustained the love of reading and writing poetry that began in his childhood. His first published poems, written while he was an undergraduate, appeared in Occident, the literary journal of the University of California, Berkeley. He has since published occasional works in various journals, with A Momentary Stay being his first collection of poems.
24 A Momentary Stay On a Hill Beside the Sea I never heard skylarks until on a hill beside the sea they flushed from tufts of brown-gold grass chirruping their flight song clear, trilling higher and higher becoming the voices of mermaids singing ringing from the sea falling suddenly into silence. Where land and sea converge surf advances and recedes, water sings a hissing song sliding down the sand. A Momentary Stay 25 ‘The Real Work’ — Gary Snyder, Turtle Island, 1974 Ruminant us reflections dark held on waking into thought How it continues so the same succumbing sliding back The flow still not attended to 26 A Momentary Stay Poem Oh spare me!
A Momentary Stay 35 Uluru Weather-furrowed animal, old as time, subtly shifting your skin’s transient hues into colours beyond their usual names, neither orange nor ochre, not sienna, close to crimson, near purple, almost blue when wet with rain the leaping waterfalls spew streams of white foam hiding algal black stains, commemoration of rains long past. You shed scales of stone that tumbled hulking down your huge flanks like herds of dinosaurs collapsing in their extinction, opening rugged emptiness to mythic vision, stories dreamed, holiness transforming space to place now needing protection against infidels rudely overrunning you clutching their possessing-mad devices.
A Momentary Stay by William C. Clarke