Sunday, July 01, 2007

John Taverner's 'The Protecting veil'

The build is a Lancaster bomber coming slow
up the mountainside
lost in the mist maybe, who knows

something similar happened near here in January 1944
(a large pond and yearly flowers)
it was a training mission with a Canadian air crew
hit a hillside in the mist in the trees slid down
burning I guess carving a crater that filled
with green water and green life
I wonder if it's haunted
it has an eery green feel

but this bomber doesn't hit
although it comes to an abrupt cessation
or not quite
it continues in the background
and I suppose Taverner is saying
but the foreground is now quiet melody and playful stuff
that at first feels to do with growth
as though children were acting plantlife
but then it is clear that it's more, it's the veil
itself being woven and maintained by an intelligence
yes it's like plantlife, but it's as though a vast canopy
was forming from the mathematics of cellulose and sunlight
with the quiet roaring of that bomber shut outside
and I guess we feel safe
in this space
created by the music of a god
though I can't help feel
that the entire edifice depends on concentration
and attention
and our listening
and that if our attention should lapse
the whole thing will collapse
and leave only the roaring
suddenly filling everything
and that seems a desperate and fragile and conditional and doomed way
of protecting anything.

No comments: