After Market Day, Finistere, 1882
By Henry Jones Thaddeus, National Gallery of Ireland.
Though not born of the sea
the eerie sea prepared them.
Its currents and Westerlies,
its spring tides and reflected moons,
stirred in them the promise of reality
and the notion of hunger.
Washed up on the steady sand
and acting on impulse and memory
they trade food on primal stalls
and dream of sex.
Their vision is of an in land,
a gigantic illusion conceived
on this infertile shore.
This lush earth-maid values
the five firm leeks lying
in wait in her wicker egg womb
and will not share them
with the plaintiff waif in the blue beret
who will paint the pain in bedsits
In Stockholm and Copenhagen.
So it is - not a cause - a possibility.
The weathered Oracle’s gaze is fixed,
communing with the chalked calm-
beyond the oceanic roar-
that is in her, and in us all.
Though she knows those hips
will people the barren earth,
that their stock will create
mathematics and Morris Dancing,
nuclear power and mythology,
she also knows
that taking the chance to explore
love and hurt
is part of the experiment
that must be seen through.
Sympathy for The Sympathetic
after Jagger and Richards
by Kevin Higgins
When you phone to say you’re caught
in the Kyber pass or Kalahari desert,
I won’t ask how you got there.
I’ll be in the ambulance holding
your hot pink hand the day
the parachute jump fails
to cure your fear of heights.
I’ll say “poor you” with my whole face
and mean it, when the affair
with your mother-in-law
ends unpleasantly, or
they won’t let you smoke
cigars in the oncology day ward.
Too busy remembering the whiskeys
I bought George Best
to pass judgement on anything.
Next time you find yourself
with a biker gang in a wooded area
fifty miles north of Moscow and
things take an unexpected turn
for the worse, you’ve got
Subterranean Blue Poetry