Wednesday, January 25, 2012

only one word

though the sky is written with vapour at sunset
and later the pointed laws of the stars,
though the barracking rain /
drills three or four-decker damp novels in love-letters
into the pipes and the lane

and the toilet / lino / is starry with regrets
and the cell wall is furrowed with curses,

though everywhere round me is harrow and surface /
roughened inscribed and defaced
with a million impossible words
in a million inscrutable senses,

but lay these aside, / some thousands of terms still remain
with the power to shine in the dark and explain;
there are words / whose knowledge is positive gain I suppose.

So how could I choose?

Is it choice, is it what you can choose, can you choose, when your life
is already within you on tape, it is already drawn round the pins
of your body, your mind and opinions recorded, precorded, precociously corded, pre / recorded?

When the gates of the dark
and the freedom of nothing to do
and the vaporous Oliver, Charlie in nappies, and Hamid, Olivia, Lacey
lie still in their cots
when the blanket is busy the crochet in furrows
all drink laced with foam and the marvellous winking horizon full up with all mother

I'd take a deep breath / and know what to say



At 12:07 pm, Blogger Vincent said...

Michael, what a triumph this poem is, embracing the past and the present so skilfully: the past in poetry, with a bow to rhyme and metre; and the past in its content redolent of our recent English heritage!

In these lines you have converted me back to modern poetry, or at least this strain of it. I await more, or at least a signpost telling me where it is to be had.


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