Poetry And Flowers
Lark and rose go mad, even with winter
coming on, the garden beneath the verandah blooms,
the park is dense with sun and soccer balls.
By lark I mean generic bird, God knows
the names for all these things with wings. Ditto
the rose: the garden drooling colour and bloom.
Lavender I recognise, and jasmine climbing
the concrete wall, and a real rose in the corner,
red as blood. I meant to say: birds and flowers
go ballistic, even with winter coming on.
Carrying on their own life. The earth drowns
in the blooming. Even when there is no wind there is
the solar wind, whipping our bodies from the depths of space.
Ferocities of trees bent double. Playing soccer,
nobody notices this. The far park flutters in mirage.
The jasmine is awash with butterflies.
Helluva day the day I fought
the lion to the death
when the women found me
prone across its flanks
and couldn't work out
whose blood was whose
“Pardon me that you see me
in this disgraceful condition
I hope you won't mention it
to anybody,” I said
They took me upstairs
with my 500 wounds
(where the enchanted women were 500,
though that was coincidence
rather than symbolism)
I looked from one woman
to the other
and my heart was simply aching
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Crescent Moon Over Over The Eiffel Tower
First I think of Jesus, or not actually Jesus,
but the vapour trail from a jet, which makes
a line across the hard sky parallel with the top
of my window, which makes me think of Apollinaire
who said in a poem that Jesus is the holder
of the world high altitude record, a truly modern
aviator, and that’s how I think of Jesus,
being in Paris and all, the thing with Apollinaire.
But I’m looking at the line the vapour trail makes,
which way up in the sky would form a perfect T
with the tip of the Eiffel Tower (the tip of the
Tour Eiffel sounds better in a poem) if the Tour Eiffel
were a fair whack higher. You know what I mean:
blue symmetries of summer. And then I notice,
and here’s what the poem’s about, when my eyes
are making the imaginary T, just above the point
where my imaginary much higher Tour Eiffel
would meet the vapour trail, a crescent moon.
A crescent moon so thin and faint it’s almost not there
in the hot white Paris sky. But it is there,
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From Theory To Pulse
Church of St Etienne du Mont, Paris
Because that force through green fuse drives all flowers
(which we would call the greater force, or God, or minor gods)
and gathers in a place like this — things gather, here and there —
then it’s a good place to come to sit a while, though
the first postulate of relativity, and I believe it, says to me
there’s no such thing as place. But here I am. It’s nice to sit a while.
Protect me, then, in the gathering up, in the going away.
The gargoyles do the warding off, the message gets projected
through the spires. That’s the theory. Sounds beautiful
to me. Okay. So you know nothing about anything
except what you recognise as instance, as kindred appearance.
Suffering, then. And then compassion. There are older agonies
than churches. You go home exhausted in the middle of the day.
Sunlight floods the apartment. The turtle dozes by the window,
more solemn than a thousand cats. You lie down,
place her on your chest. For two hours she stares at you
and feels your heart move her shell. Older agonies.
You are as little as you could be. Protect me — why?
No need. The turtle, mute, knows nothing too. That force
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