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THE HANDSTAND

MARCH/APRIL 2002


Poet: Jocelyn Braddell
NO NAME

Have you a house cellar
Where these people hide?
A man paces up and down,
Children crouch
Where the walls are words.
Women shift the skirts
Bunching on hunger and air
Clogs the mouth of song.
A few syllables
Sporadic as sleep'
A blanket caught on
An indescribable wound.
For you...
Up and down the pace
As nothing sets you free
From a house with a cellar

A NEWSPRINT PHOTO

Who was it wrote there
"Muslim in my blood forever."
As a wound
Pumped out the red ink
On the closed doors
Of the food store.
"A wild dog on the loose"
Newsprint......

A portrait of a dog
With the editor's verdict.

Have you got it now ?


THE SHAMAN

He cures all curses
This sham, with the use
Of mirrors' reflection.
He cures neurotics
Because he is the master
Of self-indulgence.
He cures the sad:
"Don't Cry Baby,"
Hoicks up the time-table,
And cures those bitches
Of vindictive heat ;
He cures the insecure
Giving them lust,
Lust for life,
Wanderlust.
He whistles in the teeth of the wind
He roars on the lip of the wave
He is the sailor the oceans enjoy
He passes up receding light beams
He is the quantum mass of light signals
From the street and the vehicles.
He comes in, so he does,
He says, "Give me your torment
I will apply it
And open the eyes of the blind."

photo of jos

All things pass away

We forgot our heroic dispute with the Eumenides
we fell asleep, they thought we were dead and they
fled shouting
"yiou! yiou!pououou....pax!"
cursing the gods that protect us.
GEORGE SEFERIS



A TERRIBLE SECRET

He raises his head,
The bull of the little pastures,
His massive head –
A planet without eclipse
A planet where stone
Risks all movement in dust

This is the place where you
May beg for a silken touch…
And there you will get a tough phrase,
The molten phrase of metal.
Will you stay long enough
To see the open hand and seek
There the riddle of being?

But what is this laughter?
These mocking echoes
Of a history lost
And you, now – without burdens.
For here is silence
Solitude
Action, a random force.
The subtle touch
This poet will give you
Is the exact description of distance,
A deception that tells no lies.
He reveals your path
The obstructions you place there
And he gives himself up
To the secret essence of your mind.

This poet has a terrible secret –
For, he possesses the sphinx,
The riddle of one who designates
His entry into so many worlds.
Her resolution in space
The true destiny he may not hide.

Jocelyn Braddell, 2002.