Friday, July 23, 2010

Old Jaffa

Old Jaffa

Moments come that are not a viewing.
They are a listening into tones of light.
When the sun calls, the noise of seeing
faints far behind a synesthesia.
Light works into substances, vibrating
into shadows of shadows, sounding angles
until the eyes defer to different senses.
Bundles of light-sung shapes rise
as cubes of time holding echoes
touching echoes that interfere
and become complex harmonies.
This light pleads into structures, pulling
sentiments deeper than clayey sediments.
It's what trembles after staving cross
a scene into one liminal mood.
These ballads of the sun in matter
build forms to bring a moment world.
Octaves sung as vignettes playing
beneath the Old Tragedian's eye.
Architecture dreams under the sun.
Its memories sigh, refracting beams.
While even looking at a photograph,
the light is poignant and enchanting.
Imagination hears the visions.

* * *
I have never been to Old Jaffa.
I will never go to Old Jaffa, but...
the sun will be my amanuensis
while I languish in desiring. The sun
will be Fenby to my Delius, we'll write
A Song of Summer to Old Jaffa
based on a picture's ode of light.
I will walk stunned through narrow streets,
in an old quarter filled with sibilant tongues
that gossip surely of glimmering fish,
of heat and things I'll love unknown.
This maze of houses and broken clocks
will swallow me in Jonah shadows. I'll stroll
again into bright opium warmth soaking
far into my day of quest. Then I'll stop
beside harbor rails and stare far out
toward the colors of water changing
and telling me that being lost is better
than ever being found. So many
sun-burnt ghosts brushing past me,
moving in this dream of Jaffa.
I will not leave until the sun goes.
I will not leave until dissolving
takes me in a death of particles.
But now things are happening -- a blur
atonal of perpendicular textures whispering
stories surfaced into plaster, life symphonic.
And this slow cascade of luminous humming
pleases me in my dizzy alien ignorance.
It changes pitch into shadowed trances,
and minor-thirds fill my grateful eyes.
I hear the undertones of absence.
I cease to breathe. I hear a gong
rippling out its gold abysses.

The long waves curl like her tresses...
and I will never walk in Old Jaffa.

--Tim Buck lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Having retired from sales in 2002, he published his novel РS̩ance in B Minor Рthree years later. In 2008, he formed a music duo Рthe Gothic Rangers Рwith Robin Willhite and released a CD of original songs. A one-act play -- Tendering -- appeared in a 2009 edition of Outsider Writers. He has fairly recently started writing poems again, an activity that went dormant thirty years ago.

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