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  • By Caitlin Johnstone

Fingers of Light


Fingers of light peel away the hiddenness of badge-wearing sadists and Apache helicopter war crimes.


Fingers of light peel away the lies of the dust-faced gargoyles on screens in dark rooms.


Fingers of light peel away the dead writings of dead men from healthy brains made of living flesh.


Fingers of light peel away the gray film of knowing which masks the beauty of seeing everything for the first time.


Fingers of light peel away the wallpaper of verbiage overlaying life as it actually is.


They emanate from the heart of a turtle in the center of your forehead that is older than the stars, and I rock you gently in my willow tree arms as they peel away the darkness.


Heed well the words from my crooked beak, you skyfaced marvel:


The outcome of this adventure is engulfed in mystery.


The world in which it transpires is swimming in mystery.


The eyes with which you behold it are made entirely of mystery.


The awareness in which you examine it is the origin of all mystery.


We cannot know what the fingers will turn up next.


Anything can happen here.


Anything.


Let your eyes remain as wide

as befits this wild ride.


Caitlin Johnstone is an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz. Her collection of poems is entitled Poems for Rebels.

9 комментариев


jm6783685
jm6783685
09 апр. 2022 г.

I find this poem a bit preachy. 'Out of one's quarrel with others one makes rhetoric. Out of one's quarrel with oneself one makes poetry.' I prefer poems in which there is some sort of development. I prefer to see the poet actually achieve the poem's insight during the course of the poem. I want to accompany them up Mount Sinai. (But I am of course criticising from a level of near-Sinaitic perfection.)

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jm6783685
jm6783685
24 авг. 2022 г.
Ответ пользователю

Pound said that the effect of poetry depends on having a regular and repeated element combined with a varying element. In formal verse this is supplied by rhyme and rhythm. In free verse it tends to be supplied by anaphora. (Sometimes backed up by parallelism.) I tend to avoid anaphora because it can be very mechanical. And in any case is a favourite trick with politicians and preachers. And has a rabble-rousing element. I suspect that Shakespeare is holding it up to ridicule in Julius Caesar. It is rather like a drug.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
04 апр. 2022 г.

This poem is oozing with originality. I haven't read anything quite like it for years. So many memorable lines here. So much to admire. But I am not going to endeavour to analyse it. The experience was too rich for that - too satisfying. I felt every word of it, as if fingers of light had just peeled away 'the gray film of knowing which masks the beauty of seeing everything for the first time'. What a line! What a poem! Coming from a book titled Poems for Rebels, it must appeal to my rebellious side.

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drleach1953
22 мая 2021 г.

This is, I think, a very good example of a poem that although it is not written in a classical form, nevertheless has a rhythmical flow and unfolding beauty in its metaphorical images that has a remarkable effect. The sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of creation and our part in it reminds me of the very best of Whitman, whom I suspect Ms. Johnstone, like me, admires on this account. The long line beginning "They emanate..." expresses, in condensed form, a profound mystery at the heart of the poem and the universe. It also conveys a sense of loving care for the reader and for humanity that is the very soul of poetry.

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thechainedmusepoetry
thechainedmusepoetry
22 мая 2021 г.
Ответ пользователю

Indeed Daniel,

Ms. Johnstone has shown herself to have a truly original and independent mind. She is a true poet. The poem develops a very powerful metaphorical idea, and the poem's language stems wholly from the poem itself i.e. it appears as nature. The fact that Caitlin is also able to treat political themes and current events in a way which is contemporary, and yet stands above its time and the myriad subversive narratives is also very inspiring. A lot of versifiers who see themselves as "political" writers, polemicists, and satirists could learn a lot from Ms. Johnstone.

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