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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 2. March 20, 1946

Literary Page

Literary Page


Your Violet glance fingers our consciousness
Taps the blue wells of pain, the saline urgency
Of self-pity.

From the summer garden your vague
Catfeel-of-darkness reveals the sense
Paws of little guilt tease into spasms
Us and our rose-frail masculine courage.

It is not you we fear, but your time-lessness
Your corrosive silence.
Coming late as you do, you find real,
Only our China wall crumbling upon us
The piteous pluck of departing blossoms
down fell tunnel
The exploded grief,
You are the waxen image of our boredom
Like tall anaemic girls you find oppressive
The crude love poem of the sun the world's grim grammar
You operate for the Christ-seed
Immune to all who bear
The enormous indictment of tears.


Cairo Mosque—

The dark arched alley offers
A haven to the beggars, who sleep
Perched is its walls.

Sharp right and the world changes:
Four time-smoothed granite pillars
Support the roof opening to the sky
And the light glints on polished stone mosaics
Fourteenth century and
Filters through the blue chinks of glass
But the dirt-green water recalls
The beggars in the alley.

Through the portals (oak and yew
Intricately carved)
And under the dome: here light
Has lost the struggle;
Dusk reigns, flaunting its false gleams
On gold patterns, carved Koran verses.
And the incredibly beautiful inlays
Indicating Mecca.

Thoughts trander, even against
The guide's insistent prattle
But the fortune-teller plants
His sand-bowl at your feet,
Exploiting preoccupation with time
And destiny, recalls with outstretched palm
The beggars in the alley

Who at the due time will enter
Under the gold of the dome
Asking Allah to provide
And receiving the age-old answer.