Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Centre Cannot Hold

All night the wind has fought with our cottage.
It wakes and unsettles a part of me
that is unsettled by such noise
as it is by all  the colours of grey
we must live with throughout these summer days.

But your country has weather big enough for both of us.
It tumbles an outermost house into the sea
to careen  on a  stranger beach in Chatham,
or a tornado whips up Dorothy into another state.
Hurricanes with names benign as dimpled grand-aunts
come to tea and scones
but leave you stranded in their wake,
flood you with their grief.

A man once told me about the wind in Oklahoma.
It flung their screen door into Saul Weller’s garden,
whipped one blade of straw from the barn
and drilled it right through the glass
of  their kitchen window.
It held there, needle-straight, the pane intact,
lights blown, food in the icebox melting.

Before its contents folded onto the floor
they were allowed eat all at once;
pistachio, dark chocolate, black cherry,
while the straw lodged tight in its place,
breaking their mother’s back.

Our lives are built on vagaries of weather, 
one well-aimed gust and the sandbars
of memory crumble at our feet.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Assessing the Bird House for Property Tax

The Power of Poets

Ancient poets were mighty with their verse.
A house infested called the scribe to come
and rhyme away all rats, the nation’s curse.

Rats just had to hear the pen traverse
the lines of metaphor on soft vellum
and fear the poet who’d slay them with his verse.

Before the ink was dry, rodents or worse
were gone, young and old banished from that home
by rhymes too powerful for them to curse.

Times have come again for poets to coerce
those vermin who have cost this land some
pain, to show us all the power of their verse.

Bring those to shame who bled the fiscal purse
with biros blazing reverse this bleak outcome,
write lines too powerful for them to curse.

Rise up slammers, rhymers, long or terse,
become what you always wanted to become.
Ancient poets had power with their verse
now rhyme away these rats, the nation’s curse.