Monday, December 19, 2005

Not a child in the house washed yet

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A new poem. Not sure if I like it yet. Another mushy parent piece, of which there are getting to be too many. Thinking of dedicating the next Poetry Ireland Review to parenthood, smiling babies on the cover, mushy poems inside. Actually this thought was prompted by sitting in O’Neill’s pub the other day after James McAuley’s Out to Lunch reading in Foster Place. I could see James looking around bemusedly at one point at the encumbered poets: The Cat Flap, EW and baby; MG spooning food from a jar into his son; PB with child asleep on his knee. The place awash with buggies.A pint of Guinness and a jar of organic cottage pie. ‘What’s happened to poetry?’ he said.

But enough idle gossip, time for an idle poem.

The Danger Zone

The stairs are gated, the play cage is assembled,
the electricity is hidden
and the maps have all been erased.
You can barely sit, yet still we’re afraid.

We know you by the mad
frolic of your eyes and the wild explorations
of your hands. Do you not, every morning,
with quiet concentration pull my glasses off?

And would pluck out my eyes and roll
over the edge to the mystery of the floor
and leap where you could. Don’t we see
Antarctica in your eyes, and hear

the landmasses quake in your laughter
and doesn’t the whole world loosen when you go out
in your Peruvian hat? We’re watching you,
we’re busy with our endless preparations

but already you fall between the cracks,
you slip through our fingers, you have
somehow worked free of the straps and harnesses,
and move, delightedly, towards the dangerous places.

1 comment:

sean lysaght said...

The scene you describe would make a good painting, a kind of pre-Raphaelite piece with swooning, jostling babies in a variety of atttidues and the guest poet in the middle, wondering what has happened to the privileges of 'Ort'.

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