Thursday, February 4, 2010

On an Anthology of Short Poems

There have always been, throughout my lucky

life, squadrons of quite unexpected flukes

awaiting me at every turn; this is, no doubt,

a decent working-definition of the Nature of

Existence – I am not now, nor have I ever been –

a claimant to Originality!

But since I'm old and

faltering towards… who knows what… I just feel

absurdly grateful for a book – it's one I found

upon the small, select, usually untroubled

local library shelf of verse – I open it and find

at once a poem by that twisted, hunch-backed dwarf

I thought I knew, old Alexander, Pontiff of the Lock,

extolling piss, because its fount would lead

a knowing seeker to the Heart!

This morning, home abed and comfortable in

calm, agnostic Winter dawn, I reached across

the bedside table, narrowly avoiding

spillage of the dregs of last night's

whisky, and found the Book – I smiled again at

Alexander's earthy flaunting of the blunt,

ironic purposes of smut and all its masculine

appeal; but suddenly, quite unannounced , an

unknown medieval poet, in eight small lines brings

Mary to my bed foot, claims attention, runs with

utter confidence – I almost hear his smiling voice –

a well-honed lance into the swelling

heart that every parent must acknowledge – mine's

ever full – and tells me in such simple terms

that under all the blue-robed iconography She

was a but Mother, and the Rood was nothing

to her but an invitation to her own death!

A blessed unbeliever, I am swamped by

inundating tears – a mere millennium or

two between us, God's Mother, and a

Father Finite of a Blissful Brood who'll never

read this – or if they do, they'll shake their

heads and mutter, 'I guess that's what

the silly bugger might have thought of then!'

Ross Kightly

No comments: