On The Subject of Stars
Almond eyed and transcendental;
they are indulging on a banquet of stars
and tossing the wishbones away.
A caged moon is watching.
The capturer of stellar beauties is finely dressed
in only the rarest of crystallized tears.
Her net is entrancing;
some stars wish themselves beautiful enough.
Rejected stars shiver in the eyes of lovers.
There is a lack of depth in those gazes
of oceanic bewilderment.
To love truly is to drown and not struggle.
Star crumbs leave a trail to worlds beyond,
lined in single file like obedient children
marching in playground
unaware, like caged moons,
of the stars hollowed of wishes
all but crumbled inside.
To die in this manner is to never reveal their secrets;
collapsing in on themselves in a distraction of light..
The story went, but one boy
had learnt about stars in his spare time.
What is the point of anything, young fellow?
But to inspire wonder and curiosity;
to shine light upon something else entirely.”
He appeared, at first, terribly sad;
slumped like a toy-shop window puppet,
averting his eyes to a north easterly,
as to an old memory..a bucket of used sparklers,
in which he felt something had drowned completely.
One boy slept upon a slanted classroom table
as words turned into lullabies and exploded
into a fine dust, if anything, of music.
His last thought was that he had become
a syllable whistling through a shattered
kaleidoscope of mosaic moons.
Everything was an eclipse
and could not be described
by anything but an endless concerto;
to which no one had the honour of conducting;
least of all his teacher.
Another, gazing from a window
at the mute boredom of grey figures
moving in droves with a distinct unease;
like the women on their way to concentration camps.
In one, pregnant it seemed, of heavy tears.
A book slammed shut. The teacher cross
that such wonder had not been acknowledged.
When washing escapes from lines....
if it gets high enough,
then it is free to stay up there in the sky.
Alice whispered it;
looking out into the windy street;
the swish of litter scraping.
Newspapers tiptoeing, cans hopping,
bags wheezing, banana skins crawling
like starfish, the swish of car tyres
slicing through left over puddles.
Adults rushing like the white rabbit
out of wonderland. It all seems so mute.
Routine; every moment attached
to every moment like clothes on a washing line.
How she dreams of floating out through
the window in her fathers white shirt
seeing the city below her.
Anywhere but here;
A mantra for the rest of her life.
It will become only a sound.
A heavy tocking. A soft ticking.
Alice looking out the window undone.
alice…. alice…. alice..
She hears as she chases
A white plastic bag down an empty street.
She snaps out of a classroom coma.
“Alice, pay attention;
Why is your page blank?”
...It's the sky miss.
“Then imagine something in it”
She folded the page into an origami bird.
The teacher had an expression only teachers know,
Her face seemed to slowly change
like that of someone watched
after a moment of laughter,
whose smile lasts longer
than the light in their eyes suggested.
As if she had lost hope,
in something intangible as love,
she would think quietly to herself was,
ironically, the only solid thing
that existed in a world so cold.
Anthony Mason © 2012