David HarsentTinnitus: January, thin rain becoming iceNow footsteps on shingle. Make of it what you will. Sea-birds roost
on the breakwaters, accustomed, of course, to twilight.
The spirit-lamp in that house on the headland could easily fall
and the fire burn all night. Some time later, a subtle ghost,
yourself in memory perhaps, might well set foot
up there amid clinker and smoke, the whole place silent and still
except you bring in the tic of cooling timbers, and then the birds
Now chains through gravel. Make of it what you will.
(from today's Guardian)
Some of them are mine, too. At night, the fairy flies by my right ear tinkling her bells, a mean fairy granting no wishes. On most days, in my left ear, a steady wind is blowing through a vast field of swishing dry sugar cane in central Mauritius while I am leaning my head out off the window, seasick and cold so far below the equator. But most of all, the hum, deep and low, that old river barge slowly passing through my left ear, forever and ever. There is no harmony, no rhythm, no pleasure in it. And no surprise any longer. To be at the mercy of such tiny events inside the minute magic spirals of my damaged inner ears, even that had to become part of my life. Mostly now, tedious, boring. So what.