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Wednesday 10 April 2013
To the Sound of Breaking Glass...
This is the moment
that comes occasionally
or not at all:
fading into reality,
lost in the borderland
between full sleep and wakefulness.
With eyes still sleeping soundly
the ears are wide awake.
One foot in nightmare, still I stand
and listen to my other land.
The mind is stretched between the two.
The dream runs on,
a silent film,
no longer silently.
The soundtrack comes from somewhere else:
the street outside
where two men argue about... about...
but now drowned out
by children playing,
the bin men on their rounds,
the clatter of the bins,
the sound of breaking glass...
all this laid over... what?
A London bus,
the upper deck,
A Buddhist monk
immolates himself in front of me.
Protest for freedom.
Immersed in flames
he disappears from view.
A horse jumps through the flames.
Silly man, silly man, out you go!
sing the children in the street below
to further sounds of breaking glass.
Surreal. How could they know?
The Buddhist figures in my world, not theirs.
Innocence and artfulness walk hand-in-hand.
The couplet (lines 10 and 11) though in italics is not a quote, but an allusion to a Poem of similar title by Edwin Muir. You can read it here