Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Room

There's so much in this room that I admire:
The way the windows emphasize the light,
Refracting and reflecting it at night,
How, just outside this window, perching on the wire,
Some four-and-twenty blackbirds form a choir
To sing a sad song, plaintive, sweet, and slight,
And now you told me, if I heard you right,
"Let's put another two logs on the fire."

The smell of jasmine wafting in the air
Is permeating slowly through the gloom,
And (if I'm not mistaken) the perfume
Of roses slips past gently — but from where?
Warm, aromatic, beautiful, and square —
There's so much I admire about this room.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


No frosty looks deterred me, no hard stares
Accompanied by forced, unpleasant smiles,
No fear of vengeance from the Faery Isles,
So I went forth and hunted with the bears,
Shared honey, nuts, and berries, chased the hares,
And left our enemies in steaming piles.
Our territory covers many miles
Of hidden paths, and haunts, and foxes' lairs.

I was a beast then. I am still a beast,
No cleverer than any of my friends
Who hunted with me where the forest ends,
About six hundred paces to the east
Of where our enemies, now all deceased,
Lie naked, just as nature's heart intends.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Message to Patients

The doctor's office now has closed. For good.
If you are feeling really, really sick
(By which we mean your tongue is inches thick
And seems as if it might be made of wood,
The room was spinning round, last time you stood,
Your head feels something like a crumbling brick,
Raising your arm too difficult a trick,
And life seems pointless), press on. Yes, you should.

An electrician may be stopping by
To fix the fuses. While he's standing still,
Smelling the flowers on the windowsill,
Ask for the plumber's number. You can try
The engineer's friends, too. We wouldn't lie.
The doctor won't be here, but someone will.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I am intrepid in my wanderings:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said, "A house divided cannot stand,
But fill the building up with lifeless things,
Like pedestals, dead slaves, and diamond rings,
And maybe the detritus, weirdly grand,
Could hold things up, at least until a band
Is brought in, playing while the mezzo sings."

Bravely, I answered that I wondered why
The hose was spraying all across the deck.
Was it, I asked, because his scrawny neck
Was in my grasp? Was he prepared to die?
We smiled, exchanged a slight wave and a sigh,
And left the place a great colossal wreck.