Thursday 18 March 2021

"Angle" has gone

"Angle" has gone. Here are 2 of my poems from it -

Musée des Beaux Arts

From Belgium's pre-war fields he saw a boy
who fell through centuries, his technique failed,
not finding love while Jews, unnoticed, died.
The weary ploughman's pleats, unruffled, match
his measured furrows not the puffed-up sails,
old masters pleased young Wystan thought to rhyme.

His craft sailed far from Europe's tumbled myths,
conversion in its wake. Invited back
to Oxford, limestoned wrinkles deepened, touched
a crazed belief that prayer, not God, would help
him suffer, slipper-shuffling from the bar
each night to find his cottage in Christ's grounds.

He left Kirchstetten farmhouse one cold day,
his life's sole purchase. We know only that
he found a Gasthaus, somewhere to go. Clocks
kept ticking, heaven harvesting the gold,
a blinding influence that makes us fail
to see young stowaways thrown overboard.

The Poetry Channel
Once more we sail beyond dawn's harbour walls,
pose laughing in the prow's romantic spray;
our site's not shown on any chart, and yet
our winking, wine-breathed pilot knows the way.

Our masks prepared, we dive into the wreck,
set on our course. We talk in signs, defy
our age, rise heavy to our craft. They want
to see us stripping off - we can't be shy.

No mast-tied hero - we're all equal now,
we all have lines to change, the licensed power
to dream. By setting good examples we
achieve our 3 cliff-hangers every hour.

Of course there's no surprise - back home we'll add
addresses to our lists, unload our cache
which later polished up in workshops is
revealed - but gently so - as last year's trash.

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