Kate McNamara

Memory: the Harvest, the Torment of my Days
( from Guy Gavriel Kay)

 

Alaska is the place

where time began

on a cold wind

that seeped out

from the Northern Lights

so the Intuits say.

>

Then time became memory

all immutable     mosaics    broken

tiles     that are displaced

travesties that cannot

be changed     so they abide

>

like stories that are mangled

torn wounds over which

scabs grow   bones

knitted in life’s winter  like

time    memory    torment    harvest.

>

And at the end     here

in the last house before death

I wonder    what was actually

worth saying?  Keeping?

Words like grey smudges

An old page of tears.

>

Beneath words   images disintegrate

photos   videos    what is dying

moribund in the ancient bondage of time?

A clock divides eternity

our tiny lives   grey moths fluttering.

Was any of it really worth it?

>

So we come    to the judge 

the sage  the shaman   the archdruid

and ask:

what God   or mortal   or dog of stars

capricious and psychotic,

which of you made  memory     or  the unstartled

universe of time       why?   and  as we wait

we know   in the echo of possibility

that silence will be  our answer.

>

Only the white stem of lavender leaving

the after image of scent

still potent as it dies.    

About the contributor

Kate McNamara is a playwright, poet and critical theorist. Her plays have been performed internationally and her poems and critical theory have been published in a range of journals. She is returning, after some years of absence, to her first, and greatest literary love, in poetry.

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