Friday, September 14, 2012

Three Older Poems


Three poems that have been around for a good while: the first two date back two or three decades; the last is a little younger. 

1. 
Dali-Magritte - poem written on the back of my will
 If you have ears…then listen.
There was a cat in the corner:
I know - I saw its tail twitch.

A mouse slid across the floor:
don't tell me it's only leaf shadows
flaying at windows.

Three dogs sit outside the café
drinking lattes -
I don't care if you can't see them.

A horse marches into the traffic:
why shouldn't drivers blare their horns?

Hermaphrodite elephants
impregnate each other,
struggling worms under the soil -
have you no ears?

If bottom-dwelling slugs
walked, or shrugged their shoulders,
men would cry out:
"Mountains fall on us!"
You walk as though the
moon never woke.

I know some person
dreams my dreams -
am I not in them?
will he wake?

2. 
We need poems when we...
see
a blind man point his white stick at a magazine stand,
an old lady walk against the lights while five cars grumble;

hear
the mention of worms in the ears of fish,
an empty building's bellow when a hammer drops four floors;

find
a week-dead fish in the refrigerator,
a hessian-skirted church tower,
a dead tree in a public square's brick planter;

understand
an icecream in the mind of a child,
sharp-cornered knee-height coffee tables,
two minds at one table unaware,
space between a pillar and a window where no child can squeeze;

discover
an untouched swinging lightbulb-cord,
toilets beneath the street down bleach-cleaned steps,
a boy concealed in clothes three sizes too big;

realise
literacy is for the spiritually-impaired.

learn our inability to walk in another man's shoes,
taste another man's wife's cooking,
wait for a blind date who doesn't show,
thrust too many oranges into a paper bag,
know the inability of the human hand to encompass a banana,
wear black clothes without a funeral,
find concrete block motels with orange plastic cups and tasselled bedspreads.

3. 
Lying still

Lying still,
winding down from making love,
I heard the room - for the first time - 
singing.
And realised it was not
cold, insensate,
knew it knew me
knew me naked,                                                                     
in intimacy:
in getting up and dressing,
ferreting in the dark for underpants,
slipping trousers on,
undressing, lying down,
swapping shoes for slippers,
lying buff in summer,
in winter pyjama-ed.

All walls have ears, eyes –
this room smells me, is tender towards
me, feels me in itself where
love is most hard to make
and simplest. 

Opening a morning window
it sings me to the world. 




Post a Comment