Wednesday, August 26, 2009

shadows, Marx, three mums

Posted by PicasaGrass and the shadows of grass against a wall.
.
I come across this poem today, which I find I still like, though two or three months have passed since I wrote it; and because I like it, I thought I would post it here as one of my three daily observations.
Thinking about Karl Marx
Bees, in glass cells make curious honey,
Blow spume and bubbles from what's bought and sold.
Drone swarming numbers as a litany,
Play dominoes with bars of gold.
How should we know what the animal is
That under a blanket writhes and rolls
Across the globe? What is its business?
Has it head and heart, arms, legs, genitals?
The surface heaves like a mountain range
Pushed by tectonic plates. "What's there for us?"
Say both rich and poor at the hope exchange.
Every bead has flown from the abacus.
Too big for comfort is the monstrous head
On the tomb in Highgate cemetery
Among the equal and uncaring dead.
Springs, coiled tight, still struggle to be free.
.
In line astern on the pavement, too narrow for all of them, three fresh young mums, leaning into push chairs, conduct their babies up Mount Sion, resonating with energy as they pass our house.

6 comments:

The Crow said...

Your photo reminds me of an old Chinese watercolor, and I like it very much. It looks simple, but there is complex poetry in it.

I especially like the line, "'What's there for us?" Say both rich and poor at the hope exchange." I thought that describes the current furor over healthcare here in the US perfectly. The words 'hope exchange' have a particularly wonderful ring to them. Conjures up lines of people queuing up for their rightful portions of hopefulness, to get them through the hard times, or just to hoard, should they not need them as much as others.

Strange mindset I have today, I'm afraid.

:)

Barrett Bonden said...

Pressing domestic detail prevents an intelligent response - but I'll be back.

Barrett Bonden said...

Tesco now behind me. How much easier it is for me to seize and hold a poem that rhymes; as if the rhymes themselves were markers of your invention. I like very much the abacus reduced to a set of wires and the fact (which I'd noticed at the time but never articulated - surely a major comfort from reading other's poetry) about Marx's head being too big, and this despite the fact that we have no body to compare it with. But as always I quarry, telling myself "I could do this". I am now enfranchised to mix metaphors ("Play dominoes with bars of gold.") provided the end result is something new and worthwhile. I could be very daring and liken market forces to the ugly thrashing of copulation. Thanks for the poetry and thanks for the lesson.

Plutarch said...

C and BB, your kind words are appreciated. A poem without readers who nod from time in recognition rather than in somnolence,is a paltry thing.

Lucy said...

I'm so glad you posted this here, I like it all the more now.

Crow's observation that it resonates with current US healthcare matters is interesting; the way good poems can start in one place but then transfer themselves to others... when you wrote it, it seemed very much about what was in the news then.

The grasses are lovely, like a very economical etching.

The Crow said...

Joe: Your photo has inspired my attempt at haiku, if you will forgive my intrusion:

Against earthten tones,
a second crop of grass grows:
shadows on the wall.