Guest poem submitted by Janice:
(Poem #1806) From the Frontier of Writing
The tightness and the nilness round that space when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect its make and number and, as one bends his face towards your window, you catch sight of more on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent down cradled guns that hold you under cover and everything is pure interrogation until a rifle motions and you move with guarded unconcerned acceleration -- a little emptier, a little spent as always by that quiver in the self, subjugated, yes, and obedient. So you drive on to the frontier of writing where it happens again. The guns on tripods; the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating data about you, waiting for the squawk of clearance; the marksman training down out of the sun upon you like a hawk. And suddenly you're through, arraigned yet freed, as if you'd passed from behind a waterfall on the black current of a tarmac road past armor-plated vehicles, out between the posted soldiers flowing and receding like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.
Another favourite of mine. Exquisity Heaney: compact, compressed, beautifully simple yet spiralling with meaning upon meaning. Here an unfortunately commonplace event - a road check - is compared to the act of writing, or perhaps the struggle of the act of writing. Again fraught with tension, "pure interrogation", the poem captures the mood, the silent watchfulness of a politically unstable area. There are various interpretations of this poem and I personally find it difficult to pinpoint what the Frontier of Writing is -- is it a space (mental or physical), an idea or the act of writing itself? When I reach the last few lines however, it doesn't even seem to matter -- "out between / the posted soldiers flowing and receding / like tree shadows into the polished windscreen". It is an image that is startling and stays with me. Hope you enjoy it!