Family Group With Feelings
our baby the time and motion scrutineer
in paradise, watching every hop of the ball
fingering the now only. he depends -
it is nice to be depended on.
the wife wearing herself out with bustle
and conformity to never-formulated
norms of a stricter father-in-the-mind
we are all at the mercy of until
we rise up in our own (is it?) pseudonym.
are we disfigured by work for subsistence?
without a sail to our mast
drifting from charm to charm
at the mercy of the wind of feelings,
Rabelaisian love of crack in the pub: heavy social man
neglects duty of plastering house
plasters himself instead.
there will not always be time...
why worry? more than half
enough turf for the winter
spuds carrots cabbage and sprouts
mackerel in the salt; other things
more than half done - the soul
more than half saved from bitterness
- at what? envy of tele-reputation?
envy of those with an audience and ease?
regret for lost love-moments? slide-rules of
reason help one to slide from day to day
across the greater currents of affairs.
yet the plain subversive fact of the matter
we may not pronounce - the slavery of 'free
enterprise,' - the Gadarene consumer gallop -
it's even taboo to mention on the wireless
Widgery the Lord Chief Square Leg Umpire
unhesitating in his l.b.w.
decisions against any Derryman
struck on the bat by the British Army.
so I rise from the stone I had turned
upside down to sit on the dry side of,
stretch the arms in a Yoga morning greeting,
take in acres of blue sky that had drifted
over the sea to the south,
touch my toes on the little clifftop
and down through the yard in disorder -
wall half stripped, the plastic sacks
of old cans, the rotting wood,
impromptu chick wire, round the corner
and up the front step, and there on the floor
of the living room behold our better half
shovelling preposterous armfuls of babytoys
- enough to fill a frugally dug grave -
into a tea chest. hold it there. touché.
Momentary Landfall in Subatomic Night
on the morning of our tenth wedding
anniversary, take a look around
the sleeping house, the grasses waving
sheepfree on a fenced cliff. what else
begged freedom to grow all these years
besides the clover and the plaintain visible
from the kitchen table? the silence
roomy with wind. were the risks worth
taking? you came all the way.
last night I dreamt I was arrested in Madrid
as an accessory to some event
planned it seems by Irish academics
and driven in a limousine to a
luxury prison. prospect: a long sentence
but in conditions good for work - the prisoners
sauntered about in patent leather shoes.
passed through an identity check
our group was left oddly free to wander
through the prison. promised in the schedule
a lecture on the theme: "tranquillity
remembered with emotion."
small baby warbles. I bring you in coffee.
he crawls happily back and forth between us.
the two other warriors sleep on.
desultory sniping will resume
later, time enough.
the chance was offered me to change my coat
and walk out into the street... too likely to be
picked up again, thought I, & chickened in.
where the dream ends clichés come crowding round.
are those wild oats run to seed on our cliff?
Danny went out last night
and from the dark brought in two purple
clover flowers, a buttercup
& a disused dandelion.
the world that he goes out into from here:
industrial desertmakers organized
stripping the earth more wantonly than sheep
to stuff the pampered and to starve the poor
- the all-consuming multi-national grab
meticulously shredding resources...
from such centrifugal living, run away -
lie in the yoga corpse-to-be, rise
to balance in a shallow bowl of mind
like Jodrell Bank cosmogonies and cosmos
trillions of stars, each with as many
nuclear bangs however estimated
by the minute bursting in my
whoever-I-am... nerves and stars coiling off
the littered-all-over hope
of getting it together any time
recedes at infinite velocity.
climb where there is nothing to hold on to,
elusive self, handflung irresponsible
tiny green gleams, firepoints a
while of an eternal microsecond
in subatomic night.
Mini asleep breathing with the universe
giggles in his dream. he wakes
we rock we are safe we have avoided
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