Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Goya Rules


March days can be superb, autumn crispness
in a mature sun. Late cicada hold chorus
as I walk through the gardens to the city.
Women trundling toddlers smile as I stroll
past, a lone man swings his little girl into
giggles. A tourist couple snap a begonia bed.
A perfect day for a Renoir riverside party.

But Goya rules.
                          Trains detonate in Madrid.
Sudden death is often our common lot but
this unnecessary slaughter beggars thought.

Harvey McQueen

Before my health deteriorated I delighted in walking down the hill from my home high in the hills thought the Botanic Garden to the city. (I bussed home). The first stanza records such a walk – a lovely day. But that morning’s news was dominated by the explosions on Madrid trains. Some fanatics had decided that innocent commuters, travellers, old, female, male, young, Christian, Muslim and atheist should die.

It was an afternoon to celebrate existence. Instead, I carried the burden of our species’ capacity for cruelty and inhumanity. Renoir is my favourite painter – such joy. But Goya ruled that day. Another old master with a different message – those poor people. When will we ever learn – at such moments the mind tends to cliché. I liked the poem so much – a very accurate snapshot of a moment – that I used it as the title of my latest collection released earlier this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment