Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Nature of Things

My conscious mind has accepted my Health condition. But obviously the subconscious has other thoughts. For the second night running I had a dream about being active before being trapped inside an inert body.

Last night I dreamt I was caught up in riots in Athens. I was running away but as I ran over some wooden gratings they collapsed leaving me be-straddled over some large beams, Upright I could only watch the chaos around me and couldn’t escape the tear gas.

A snippet from the previous night’s dream is my envy of the verve and energy of the school boys with whom I was trapped in the bus.

When niece Jenny was staying with us I wrote this poem. I thought it was about age and her vitality in contrast to my situation. But I realise as is the nature of poetry it is saying more.

(for Jenny)

Loss is loss, futile
to call it anything
other. New age
twittering will not
help. 28 years old
my niece moves round
the house with grace
& confidence, marvels
at a frail old neighbour*
who, heyday, modelled
nude for a well-known artist.
Hitler’s men stole many
treasures, some lost for
ever, though the Ghent
altarpiece was found
& is back in place
but that is art & I
declare flesh. Time, like
war, takes its toll. In
my decline, small solace
except this life-spirit’s
absurd & unexpected
comfort at youth’s
astonishing vitality.

*Frances Porter who modelled for Mervyn Taylor.

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