Friday, March 19, 2010
cover, catkins, audit
In the road discarded and squashed is the top of a drinks carton almost past recognition. Somebody, we should remember, designed it.
Seen from the train window, at this time of year, new hazel catkins like green rain.
Audits have been on my mind. We take stock, review, monitor, judge. We audit; we are audited. Daily, on high days and holidays and anniversaries, at equinoxes and solstices, with diaries and calendars, through windows and telescopes, binoculars and microscopes. It all comes together in a poem, which has been fermenting these last few days.
Words you cannot do without
Grow scarce until they can
Just whisper like frantic wings.
Even balanced on a pin,
You cannot say goodbye like that
While faculties remain intact
To decorate and explain,
To earn the wherewithal to buy
A bag of chips, a pint of bitter;
To pursue conversations,
Which come and go like puffs of air,
In pubs, or walking by the sea.
The surplus makes you weep.
The books must be balanced
And love itself preserved
From extravagance and loss.
Letters in plastic sacks and files
Scattered like archipelagos,
On the floor, to navigate
Or be wrecked among,
Tell of lives half lived,
Of countries unexplored,
Of children waiting to be born
And voices in the room next door.
The auditors move in amazed:
(The particles dance on)
What they see is not there;
What they do not see is here,
Their task, to name what is no longer
Where it used to be, in the space
Between the spaces where it was
And will be again one day.