The Child I Was is Still in Me

Year: 1970
The Child I Was is Still in Me
 
                By Colin Bingham
 
The child I was is still in me;
I know it when above the plain
the fork-tailed hawk expectantly
turns steep from his high roundagain
and swoops with terrible intent;
when night’s last vagrant mists enfold
the ochre trunks and limbs grotesquely bent
of stripped angopheras, and stained with gold
die writhing on the poniards[1] of the sun.
 
I know it when the gulls glide down
at dawn along the white wave-edge;
when from the net-strewn fishing town
between the sand dunes and the sedge
the crews talk raggedly, their greetings brief,
and one by one in the morning’s eye
the boats curve round the coral reef
where plumed horses kneel and die,
but endless still the squadrons thunder.
 
I know it when I catch my breath
in wonder of a world still young.
If, as some say, this rapture comes again with death
consolingly, like music softly sung,
it is too late. Let time requite
me now with ecstasy – a golden flash of pain,
a Leonid[2] athwart the night –
proclaiming and anointing me, a child again,
enthroned amidst the tumult of the world.
                                           Colin Bingham (1970)
 
 
 
[1] A thin pointed dagger: i.e he is saying how the sun creates points of light through the mist.
 

[2] A meteor shower associated with the comet Tempei-Tuttle, occurring in November of most years, and with spectacular results approximately   every 33 years.