Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bronze bullets

Ever since I was a young girl, I've played with the silver, ahem, pen. After reading too much Roger McGough in the years 1998-2004, I was frequently tempted to write silly little pomes that amused few people other than myself. And Toller, occasionally, when he was kind enough to read them. In some ways, posting a selection here exposes the pomes to a wider audience. In other ways, ways that are somewhat closer to reality, the crowd grows tougher but no larger...

The art of seduction
I am a temptress
and leave a lot
to be desired

I didn't know
if I was born for this —
a doctor's waiting room.
It nearly killed me
trying to find out.

If I go too far,
Feel free to follow me.

On the accidental bombing of a wedding party in Afghanistan by US pilots
Confetti and hand grenades
Falling from the sky
Looked up to sing Your praise
And got one in the eye

Obviously it wasn't hand grenades but B-52s, but I was concerned that the pome would take on unwelcome love shack undertones.

And something a little longer...

I found a scrap of newspaper
in a book I never read again.
It was the colour of titian,
burnt at the edges,
More like a child's art than heritage.

A piece about Auden,
from the 1940s, a literary man
turning back into pulp.
I think he was young then.

But it broke in my hands
Like overworked glass
Tired of the hedonist's cycle;
Like the dying Chiron
Who summoned hope
Only to say goodbye.

The harder I tried to save him
The more fragmented the message became,
As if it was only ever meant
To be written in the stars.

It was like a letter I once wrote to you
But never sent.
Those over-edited stanzas
Are now stuck to my desk
A reminder,
Keeping me whole.


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