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II The School Globe

James Reaney


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The Two Kites

Our kites seem
Flat fish that swim
In a high, loud river of the wind
That flows, far above us, from the lungs
Of one of the four directions.
We fly them every windy day
Sao that they know the North Wind’s way
Of armouring all with snow and ice;
And how the South Wind
Sweet as licorice
Paints the summer streets of trees
With white, sweet dust;
Also they know the East Wind
That ruins the Spring;
And the West Wind whose sunset sundogs
Growl for a storm and a rainbow.

But although they wander the windy sky
Like any bird or cloud
These kites are hinged to us
Who never let them go
But, cruelly, must
Always pull them down
To a place where no winds blow.
How they must cry out there
Against the still, playbox air,
How they must desire to fly
Up the glass stairs of a windy sky
To where stands that cloud-nailed door
Whose doorknob sometimes is the Moon,
Whose gold latch sometimes is the Sun.

Those that fly kites are also kites
Carries upon a wind that comes
From nowhere,
Hurried in a direction that depends
Upon which wind of Love or Hate is blowing;
Pulled down from all our life;
Of loving, talking, singing, sighing,
Of watching the weather through windowpanes,
Of howing, hating, whethering, whying;
Pulled down from all this
To a grave.

Someday, for us, the Wind will stop
And, like kites, we’ll listless drop,
Or a Someone will say,
“You’ve flown enough,
You’ve suffered sufficient huffpuff,”
And wind us back
To a place where no winds blow.
How we’ll groan there
Against the still coffin air,
How we’ll long to be blown
Back to the jostle of fates and plights
Of a life beneath the sun
Where the dust whirls up
Beneath the summer trees
And where every windy day,
In the bare fields, we flew our kites.