The reference to Ireland and Iran reflects the prominence of the Irish 'Troubles' and the recent Iranian revolution at the time.
A morning sadness fills the sky
Gone grimly grey and full of rain;
I write and rewrite as I try
To drag old furies from my brain:
Running my thumb along the paper’s crease
I dream of Jason and the Golden Fleece.
Outside, the automatic lifeOf plant and shrub is underway;
Already juicy for the knife
Lettuce and plum attack the day.
A lively slug and golden-purposed bee
Vibrate with much more energy than me.
With hopeful look and loaded headI sought to write a classic line,
To capture what the Muses said,
To shape it and to call it mine;
But blunt intentions do not make an act,
The gods were present when old Troy was sacked.
I looked out on the dampened earthAnd thought of Ireland or Iran,
How men must give their thinking birth
Whilst under siege or on the run –
And instantly my Graeco-Roman whim
Was shrunk to nothing but a dream gone dim.
For men are killed and leave undoneThe one thing that they had to do,
To weep farewell beneath the sun
And stare the wounds of darkness through:
The riddled corpses with their open eyes
Are unsolved puzzles in their frank surprise.
But when the bodies have been burned,Or roughly bundled under stones,
And when the earth is once more turned,
Dispersing caches of the bones,
Then wheat and vine will silently take hold,
Their blood-fed harvest burgeoning three-fold.
Behind the warfare and alarms,The plants about their busy life,
Behind the lies and snake-oil charms,
And internecine, pointless strife,
There stands a constant silence that might be
An universal personality.
A silence that delights in quarks,And dances when the pulsars dance,
That’s altered when a small dog barks
Or when we caste an angry glance;
That is the context of our every act –
The unavoidable eternal fact.
That aches to feel the life of things
Deflect so fiercely out of true,
That knows the song that terror sings
To captives in the hangman’s queue;
That is forever verging on the sad
But is forever tranquil and is glad.
Despite the sullen, cloud-filled skyMy garden spirals into bloom;
The cosmic weaver silently
Has flung off beauty from his loom,
Assuaging grief, defusing lust, that bliss
Might blot out sorrow, pregnant as a kiss.
====================© Abandoned 1983; completed January 2012