Poem of the day

Who do they say I am?

by Nick Makoha

24 May

Higher Archetype

by Kristine Ong Muslim

Subtly seductive

Tints of gray and star-

Shines mar your passing

So that you become a mere blur

Under the spotlight.

 

You weave a world to behold

Whenever you sleep

And nothing is left of it

But the rubble of haunted cities

And cold husks of deserted homes.

 

There is nothing to recover from,

No hope of building and rebuilding

Your fallen race,

No memory of what they have done

To the stars

That seek out your birth.

 

23 May

Cloud; Sun; Fountain; Statue

by Edward Lucie Smith

22 May

Bob's Car

by Russell Thompson

The man stands by his pick-up

truck and whirrs the automatic

windlass into life. Bob, Bob’s 

wife and Bob’s wife’s niece watch.

 

When he arrived, he eyed Bob’s car,

scratched his baseball-cap, said the ad

had had him understand it wasn’t quite

so… But he’d take it. For parts.

 

Bob has been busy: he’s jettisoned

the other contents of the corrugated iron

garage. Only two prehistoric oil-cans –

‘good for ten years yet’ – get saved.

 

The cable tautens, and Bob’s car –

insofar as it can still be called 

a car – ploughs into daylight. No tyres.

No engine. Chassis on the gravel.

 

The man operates the controls

with one thumb. ‘Can we help at all?’

‘No, it’s OK.’ Bob’s wife’s niece’s small

son’s playing with a bucketful of stones.

 

The pick-up humps up the unmade lane.

Bob’s car rides piggyback, bumping side

to side. They turn onto the main road

at the top, and everybody goes inside.
 

21 May

"Soothing and Awful"

by U.A. Fanthorpe

(Visitors' Book at Montacute church)

 

You are meant to exclaim. The church 

Expects it of you. Bedding plants

And polished brass anticipate a word.

 

Visitors jot a name,

A nationality, briskly enough, 

But find Remarks beyond them.

 

I love English churches!

Says Friedrichshafen expansively.

The English are more backward. They come,

 

Certainly, from Spalding, Westbury-on-Trym, 

The Isle of Wight; but all the words

They know are: Very Lovely; Very Peaceful; Nice.

 

A giggling gaggle from Torquay Grammar,

All pretending they can't spell beautiful, concoct 

A private joke about the invisible organ.

 

A civilised voice from Cambridge

Especially noticed the beautiful churchyard.

Someone from Dudley, whose writing suggests tight shoes,

 

Reported Nice and Cool. The young entry 

Yelp their staccato approval:

Super! Fantastic! Jesus Lives! Ace!

 

But what they found,

Whatever it was, wasn't what 

They say. In the beginning,

 

We know, the word, but not here,

Land of the perpetually-flowering cliché, 

The rigid lip. Our fathers who piled

 

Stone upon stone, our mothers

Who stitched the hassocks, our cousins 

Whose bones lie smooth, harmonious around —

 

However majestic their gifts, comely their living, 

Their words would be thin like ours; they would join 

In our inarticulate anthem: Very Cosy.

 

20 May

The Whales in Paris

by Pia Tafdrup