Tuesday, March 07, 2006

radio

You have become to me
radio waves across
widening time and space
a creature of
suppressed diction:
associated words
hiss and pop
fade in and out
breathily veiled
like some long worn
lacquer recording
on a radio programme
captured from
bubbling æther storms
with an uncertain antenna
and amplified with
warm worn copper coils
aging paper wrapped condensers
random germanium crystals
and chancy amber vacuum tubes
then fed wavering through
a tiny cloth speaker grill
in an arching hardwood case.

The memories cradled
by inadequate equipment
hiss, pop and fade too,
however carefully I coax
at the backlit vernier dial,
fidelity oxidised by decades
scratched by unkind time
drowned in modulating hum
but through sharp static
and softer erosive wear
something essential and true
still penetrates through.

Old passions remain
surprisingly bright
even when sounds
become half engulfed
amid violences of
unseen ion winds
storms, sunspots
and other atmospheric
interference
and even though
pictures are distorted
when seen through
rippled and curved walls
of silvered glass tubes,
they are illuminated kindly
by the dim orange glow
of random electrons spattering
against a worn anode plate.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When I was young, I listened to the radio..."
This is so nice. Makes me sad that radio seems to be going the way of the horse and buggy.

Fingers said...

"...waiting for my favourite song...when they played I'd sing along..."
Anonymous, thank you of reminding me for that song!
And Coyote, thank you for the poem.

coyote said...

You're welcome, Fingers; and thanks for the nuance, Nonny.