Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bhutanese Fire Puja, Harewood House 2006 - draft

Buddhist abbots show up in dirty track suits
with spark holes
and coke cans
and no matches
and it rains a little
as they borrow a lighter for the flares

(look this thing is all fire
words are fires and faces gather around them
flush from flaming lippy fricatives -
fire is to be seen bursting all over this scene)

and Lord and Lady Harewood
sit slow with silk scarves

and faces that don't move
as the monks change into cassocks
and perform
throwing sparks and pebbles
that we scrabble for
and the firelight glistens
on the beard
of Lord Harewood Lord Lascelles in whose grounds this scene
unfolds, with his mansion black behind him and the moon
behind that his snowy beard snowy the word combed snowy
like a fantasy wizard
sparks everywhere no movement of his face not even
at the end
when they rise and walk
into the vast shadow
all those slaves in Barbados
carved from their black bones
and cast with their big eyes into the future.

They leave without pebbles
not having scrabbled for them.

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