Roslyn Ross: ‘The Winnowing’

The Winnowing

Raised across the parapet of mind,
words frowned in distant gathering,
horizon-huddled holding to the edge
of possibility defined, waiting for 

release upon the brooding ledge of
endless misunderstandings, restless
as they honed edges to deadly shine,
ready to cut without mercy; wielded

in a winnowing of mechanical fear,
compressing dry, cracked stalks of
hope into bales, tied for distant, ever
imagined Winters where life could

chew listlessly at dried remnants
of what had once been lush, ebullient
green salvation, thrust from fallow
earth, reaching always for the distant

anxious sky where sullen blues held
court for scattered sunbeams, tripping
through realities which danced slowly
at the bidding of bestial breeze, and

delicate, whispering winds which 
rattled hollow husks, bereft of fertile 
grains, abandoned, sterile, grieving
in those fields of futures known, 

and unknown, where Occam thoughts
spread like scythes, laying waste,
rendering, reducing potential harvest
in death knells of dusty, dirty dying;

so did the paddocks sigh piteously,
deprived of all which had been 
promised, before the war within
demanded one last, final solution.

Roslyn Ross


4 thoughts on “Roslyn Ross: ‘The Winnowing’

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    ‘Incarnate word in which all nature lives’ starts James McAuley’s poem – we have no other ‘logos’ than to ride the ‘Occam’ thought over the edge of the world. Without God and hope – the logos is not complete … and we end up seeing humankind as an alien to the earth – an innocent and incompetent destroyer of beauty and love and lifeI think if you enter the spirit, the logos changes.. Either there is never a problem requiring a ‘Final Solution’ or God is the final solution … takes me about as far as I need … endless forgiveness and full responsibility are compulsory.

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    A most complicated poem with only one full stop at the very end piling image upon image Words stacking ‘the parapet of the mind’ with and ‘Occam’s razor’ of misunderstandings where ‘life could chew listlessly at dry remnants of what had once been lush, ebullient green salvation’ ‘bereft of fertile grains, abandoned, sterile grieving, in those fields of futures known … and unknown ….’
    O God can’t humankind do anything right – are we completely hopeless and sterile, abandoned ? The poem Occam’s itself to death with deadly, inappropriate, adjectives and an undertow I have come to know in other narratives. Such hopelessness given such passage heralds the triumph of pity over mercy. The ‘paddocks’ were promised nothing but the plough and the seed and the war within requires the absolute truth, what actually happened, to be fully understood before forgiveness can begin.It requires ‘repentance’ to admit when you are wrong. We have all been wrong, every single one of us … This is what happens when you hang around Universities for too long these days – Occam’s razor sends you mad. All the husk is falling through this ‘Winnow’ in one long sentence without end separated by useless paragraphs pretending to be stanzas. The sieve needs mending, there is nothing but husks and the seed is missing.

  • rosross says:

    Glad you liked it Patrick.

  • Dalone says:

    Unfortunately, another ‘modern art’ version of poetry.

    We of earlier generations, Boomers if you like (and I am quite happy to be amongst their ranks), all learned poetry in primary school.

    It rhymed. Something we see very little of today.

    Poetry is not why I began buying QUADRANT, many years ago, however, it is part of what disappoints me about its recent versions.

Leave a Reply