The Wounded

(A nod to @tonyhoags_LPS)

I am – I think – also wounded into speech –
by limped-off difficulties – by disconnections
away from my pages – I admit my ply of lines

of instant fixes – of weaved words into verse
My tipping point – there by daylight – re-set
after dull errors and other such mistakes

it is my NHS-wrap of lightly cast plaster
to mend – gripping – my snap-bone moment –
or – the tip of talcum on to sweated flesh

I am no more hiding from the heated fallout
of my dull errors – those bombed mistakes –
my day-to-day words are just housekeeping

Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore*

As disordered pages
I read back my life –
until you – as Ludmilla –
entered mine

The creak of shined floorboards
from the weight of us
and of ten thousand books
under ten kilos of dust

You as Ludmilla
mark my book with your touch –
your stroke of the spine
is a pleasure to watch


*If on a winter’s night a traveler

I, the Draughtsman

‘The Irish have the greatest command
of the English language’ Discuss
Some West Indian poets may disagree
as would others from further ports
of our whore-explored tongue

This waking moment lets me wander
in a drunken reverie the words of Wallcott
but I haven’t dropped a touch in a week
apart from that sip of gin and tonic
which I was asked to consider for taste

In the house children clunk on floorboards
and the eager dog patters and follows them
My eyelids measure the paucity of my sleep
Later today my fatigue will make a grand entrance
just as I need to be alive to connect the lines

Making Poetry, Because Causley Did

I am in the place of making poetry,
as Causley did, a revelation when
greengrocer-ed by school kids,
and then he described the act:

We will explode if its not written..
Appease the angel and the demons..
The poems have to be written..
Life goes on..

‘On Being Asked to Write a School Hymn,’
(this verse disturbs our tamest poet),
such creation was Causley’s response
to being exhausted, to being re-awakened,
daily re-set, after school, by the writer’s clock.

In 1982 Launceston appealed to me,
stone-faced before the town was laid,
found in that broken-back paperback ‘Collected.,’
which I stole from Surrey Libraries.

Now I pit my reducing self
into making poetry, which sits unread,
unpublished, not in bound paper,
re-edited only when I come across it:

I am making the words
to fit the verse of this hammered work,
but I use no blistering tools,
just the weight of big hits on tin ears.

[Poem #866]