Friday, July 28, 2017

Poem for the Weekend: Kenneth Mackenzie

The Australian poet and novelist Kenneth Ivo Brownley Langwell (Seaforth) Mackenzie was a character, and his colorful biography is well worth a read. Some excerpts: 

"at Guildford Grammar School, he took no interest in sport and studied only when he felt inclined."
"wherever Mackenzie was, 'wild comedy and wild adventures tended to break out'."
"He was strong, muscular and blonde, and immensely attractive to certain women."

Sadly, Mackenzie's life deteriorated, in large part due to a drinking problem. In his early forties, he accidently drowned in a creek while bathing.


by Kenneth Mackenzie (1913-1955)

Sometimes at night when the heart stumbles and stops
a full second endless the endless steps
that lead me on through this time terrain
without edges and beautiful terrible
are gone never to proceed again.

Here is a moment of enormous trouble
wen the kaleidoscope sets unalterable
and at once without meaning without motion
like a stalled aeroplane in the middle sky
ready to fall down into a waiting ocean.

Blackness rises. Am I now to die
and feel the steps no more and not see day
break out its answering smile of hail all's well
from east full round to east and hear the bird
whistle all creatures that on earth do dwell?

Not now. Old heart has stopped to think of a word
as someone in a dream by far too weird
to be unlikely feels a kiss and stops
to praise all heaven stumbling in all his senses...
and suddenly hears again the endless steps.

1 comment:

  1. An fascinating mind that can dwell with the instant when the heart stumbles and stops - on the edge of darkness.


"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka