Old friends, three elementals
Lake Takepo McKenzie Basin, South Island, New Zealand
The wind picks up, playing the pines by the lake-shore – delicate
fingers across filaments. Today they sing a plaintive song, Aeolian
lament to the body of water they have lived by for so long. It’s not
always like that – when the sun shines and turns the lake translucent,
sometimes the wind whips up wavelets – then the trees are loud
with vigour and exclamation. They are old friends, three elementals –
though the wind is a gyspy-spirit and the water an alchemist.
They are familiars familiar with each other’s moods, each other’s
histories; ease of connection emerging from long-standing proximity,
the repetitiveness of daily life. Sometimes the lake dredges up the past;
plunging, writhing, frozen heart. It gets fractious, tosses in its bed,
then settles again into the habit of placidity, the pleasure of flow.
It retains the glorious turquoise depths of its glacial past, losing only
solidity in exchange for freedom of expression. Always an equilibrium
between the three, moving out of, then back into balance again.
The detective’s chair (7)
There is nothing noir about Guido Brunetti. Noir needs ground
of loneliness, food of melancholy. Crime gets him down from time
to time, but he is reflective, philosophical, dives into Herodotus
when distance is required. He doesn’t come home from violence
to empty taunting rooms, to the siren song of ghosts. Awaiting him –
the love of a good woman, laughter from his kids. Most days Paola
cooks for him, real food, not the grease and salt of take away. Often
both lunch and dinner: calamari ripieni, fusili con mozzarella di
bufala et olive nere. If lunch must be eaten on the run he is aggrieved.
Even gourmet tramezzini don’t placate him, no match for Paola’s
deft hand with homemade fare. Her wise words, humour at his
expense often pull him out of gloom. His chair is on the third floor
terrace, next to hers. Together they contemplate la Serenissima,
share conversation, sunset, a glass or two of chilled prosecco.
Anne M Carson has been published in literary journals internationally and widely in Australia. Removing the Kimono was published in 2013. In 2015 she was commended in the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize. She is looking for a publisher for Massaging Himmler: A poetic biography of Dr Felix Kersten. www.annemcarson.com