Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Martian Sends A Postcard Home

Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings -

they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.

I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.

Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:

then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.

Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the property of making colours darker.

Model T is a room with the lock inside -
a key is turned to free the world

for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.

But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.

If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep

with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room

with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises

alone. No one is exempt
and everyone's pain has a different smell.

At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs

and read about themselves -
in colour, with their eyelids shut.

- Craig Raine


* Caxtons is used to describe books. William Caxton was the first to print books in England.

** Model T is a car that used to be manufactured by the Ford company.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Bushra said...

Karachi is the choice! Lahore is hotttttttt! (i mean, garam!)

5:23 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Assalamualaikum, Bushra. Yeah, July and August are definitely the two best months to be in Karachi. Such fabulous weather.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this poem

12:46 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I hate this poem too.
I just wrote a paper on it.
There was nothing to say.

9:01 AM  
Blogger E. Zamora said...

Claire clearly did not look deep enough...exactly what Raine was writing about...amateurs.

11:38 PM  

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