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Presage               Artemis at Ephesus

         'Woman': for Breda Beban           On the Patio

 

Presage

 

I want you to have direction in life.

Itís not that I donít know about loss of meaning,

or loss of love, or how that might occur ...

 

I gave you a bear of green malachite,

a round squat pebble, the size

of your finger-nail, power of a fist,

blue fish jammed in its jaw,

an arrow of turquoise tied to its back ó

carved by the Zuni as a fetish for the hunt.  

 

You gave me a fetish of pink quartz,

an archaic image of horse, engraved

with a hand, spiral, bird and Kokapelli,

dancing and playing his flute,

 

and as if an omen I dreamed of four horses,

round and glossy as chestnuts,

their heads resting on a white-picket fence,

in fall of evening, suffused in light,

shadows lengthening.

 

The following week we saw them:

four horses in the valley of Olema,

placid under a vast fir tree.

We gave them our apple cores, their long

noses pushing into our hands,

flanks of close hair warm to our touch,

saddles and stirrups laid on the fence.

 

Yet, these horses are as wild at heart

as the horses of myth that charged into hell ó

took you down to the underworld

leaving me above.

 

Sharon Morris

published in Poetry Wales, Spring 2005

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Artemis at Ephesus

 

She beckons with a saintís open palms,

Artemis from Ephesus, offering

her multiple breasts like a clutch of eggs.

 

A fecundity of tiny animals breaks out

from inside her body ó

dogs with lapping tongues, nervous deer

and docile cows grabble under her skin,

 

rows of prancing horses charge towards us

(we imagine how their miniature hooves

would hammer us with keen blows)        

                        

lions prowl the length of her arms

and there are bees settled as if sitting on honey.

 

So you lie, with your arm around a leopard,

limp as a kitten in your grasp,

a stag guarding your lair

 

and I lie at your left side, content.

But a wild dog persists in you,

the dog that sees blindly with its nose.

 

Guide me, in this half-known world.

Ravening, I will follow the scent.

 

Sharon Morris

published in Magma,  No. 34, Spring 2006

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'Woman': for Breda Beban

 

To see this woman on screen ó

watch for fifteen minutes

her face, turn her head once

on the pillow, hair spread out in a halo,

muscles in her neck stiffen, eye-

lids closed, silence,

except for ambient sounds

in the room

 

full of people sat gazing at

the shape of her lips

change, her mouth opening,

appearance of her tongue,

widening of her mouth, and after

the moment of orgasm,

eyes flying open

looking back at us,

 

a smile on her lips,

and as Breda Beban says

this work is less about masturbation

than Van Gochís field of corn, crows

flying overhead, is

about agriculture.

 

Sharon Morris

published in Chroma,  issue 4, Spring 2006

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On the Patio

 

I sit in the spill of moonlight

bitten by gnats

(sipping beer and grateful).

 

Desert cacti in plastic pots

demarcate the patio,

the oleander parts its flower.

 

I can't sleep ó

you call it a metaphysical yearning,

I call it grief.

 

Next morning he is out there,

the owner of this villa, removing

every fallen petal and leaf.

 

Sharon Morris

published in Poetry Salzburg Review,  No. 7 Winter 2004/5

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