That Measure of Solace

Solace – Word of the Day


Rock pool at Tjukurla, the silence was crisp.


That Measure of Solace

Auden’s clocks have long stopped,
though nothing in particular disturbs.
Except, perhaps, the every grief
the rough and tumble of the daily joust.
The amber and the red,
a diminished account,
the angry thrust of neon,
gutters of urine,
the rankle of gulls.

Convenience stores,
a non sequitur.
I laugh,
others look,
disdain or pain, I can’t be sure.
The lure of true Gomorrah,
Cash for landfill.
My shame is writ large.
Purpose died today.

I yearn for balm,
a place to be, like Gilead,
of rugged, sparse plains,
of cleft rock and soothing pool,
red dust and granite.
A measure of solace,
of peace that melts souls.
That measure of solace
the bush.

©Paul Cannon



Filed under bush walking, Country, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry

26 responses to “That Measure of Solace

  1. A “wonderful” back at you, fellow poet, writer, traveler, and nature admirer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Crisp silence” much sought and ever more difficult to find.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. why have you kept this talent hidden so long … shame on you! This is truly amazing ..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lync56

    Fantastic Poem


    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is utterly beautiful Paul. See I knew you have this talent in you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MNL

    Love the poem, the retreat into the bush that is a welcoming. I didn’t get the clock reference so had to look it up. Google said Auden’s poem became famous due to the Four Funerals movie but that WH Auden co-wrote a play with Christopher Isherwood called The Ascent of F6. I felt that the poem first appearing in that particular play gives your poem’s Auden’s clock reference a double edge.

    The Ascent of F6 brief synopsis: Two countries contest a mountain, finally deciding whoever climbs it first gets it. A politician pushes his renowned climber brother to lead the group up. He says no but due to pressure gives in, with a shamed self-hating ambivalence. At the end, the expedition’s leader dies feeling his destruction was caused by following other people’s ambitions. The poem is about the politician brother’s funeral and is meant to be “full of disgusted political disillusion, and all the professions of emotion are corrupted by an entanglement with serious power.” (An introduction to ‘Stop all the clocks’ by Seamus Perry, British Library)

    That feeling of disillusionment and fake emotions, being pulled by what’s expected, by city needs is contrasted with your ending of returning to the bush, being still, away from the noise, being centered, touching one’s core truths/emotions. This ending peaceful at rest is not death but a welcoming sanctuary/home.

    anyways that’s what I got from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I’m glad to know about the play as I hadn’t picked up on that, I’ve always liked Auden’s poetry so it fitted my thought to use that line. Thank you for encouragement and observations and such a helpful response.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tis strange the dissonance between worlds….returning to nature may be the only cure for the madness that ails us. Straddling both worlds, we become acrobats. Well crafted poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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