Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Two poems on last days

Two poems, one by me and one by Auden. The last 2 lines of mine are stolen from Emily Dickinson.

I waited to post until Thatcher was out of hospital. Didn't want to seem to be gloating on her frailty.

Last Days
by me

Influenza: from the influence of stars
Whose light departed many years ago.
A dim ward and the folded cloths
Lifting and falling with each hard-won breath
Insensate. More insensate then before.

Because we are all animals
Keep breathing, pitiless;
Your armour was your unconsciousness.
Labour to sustain the life
You wanted to diminish;
Now tidy weakness away like cutlery.

I lift my head in formal memory
Under a waterfall of dirty college light.
A stair-shaft
Students frozen in innocence
Angels on Jacob's ladder
Yogasundram calling down three floors
'Alison, she has gone!'
So I have lived past her, I thought
But that was almost twenty years ago
She sleeps and we are living in her dream.

Perhaps they’ll say ‘she’s gone’ again today,
Enacting a remembrance,
As freezing persons recollect the snow,
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.

The Fall of Rome
by WH Auden

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebretonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

PS I am that clerk

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

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