in memory of the poet John Clare
Outlying provinces like distant cities spill over with fast talkers and trimmers.
There is so little time to get said what there is to say.
The bastards go back to sitting in easy chairs dallying with dogs,
not cats, who are too bright not to know con men
want to make each of them a mark and do them in.
I am done with the provinces, as I have been all my life an exile from cities.
Because I must dwell in the provinces venturing into a city to end each decade
with more teeth extracted, plates molded and wires to hook to those left,
should the last two go time will have arrived for the lower jaw to be filled,
and with its birthright of overbite the mouth will try to expel the foreign agent.
Even so, my underslung mandible will skulk through shadows cast by lights
on empty streets under no moon, manned by men who are said to be my kin.
Who would remember the dream no one knows how to read it is so absent?
Why wish for the air to be disturbed when fire might soothe you
if water were not involved . . . yet they are as always . . .
Who among us has not prepared for the vision of the pale seers
with doors that must be unlocked to enter, then locked until arrival.
Who does not know why this nightmare looms or for whom it is intended?
Animals snarl and limp off to care for their own. Humanity continues to dwell
out of sight, out of earshot, out of mind,
so do not dither with thought but be quick
when the pace accelerates, try to keep up
(some do but too few). Outside our zone of breath and smell the hallowed
ponder who may be chosen as worthy of being seen or heard, much less read.
(19-23 June 2014)
copyright 2014 by Floyce Alexander