Christopher Logue

Poem

If the night flights keep you awake
I will call London Airport and tell them
to land their dangerous junk elsewhere.

And if you fall asleep with the sleeve
of my jacket under your head,
sooner than wake you, I’ll cut it off.

But if you say:
‘Fix me a plug on this mixer’,
I grumble and take my time.

John Dryden

Happy The Man

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

Robert Herrick

Delight in Disorder

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction :
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher :
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly :
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat :
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility :
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.

R S Thomas

Play

Jocosity
through verbosity
can lead to animosity

as an attitude
from exacitude
can become a platitude

Complementarity
leads not with majority
to popularity

as scrupulosity
has the capacity
to encourage pomposity.

Belief in the Trinity
for most of humanity
suggests a nonentity

I fear theology
is just an allergy
of anthropology

Heigh-ho that the universe
through over-rehearsal
should become farcical.

Relativity
in the face of gravity
is incivility.

In a Calvinist’s heaven,
where no foot is cloven,
who are the forgiven?

Time does not prevaricate.
Where the heart pontificates
the questions proliferate.

Is not astrology
disguised as the economy
the human pathology?

One could go on and on
like traffic in London –
It is late. I have done.

Fred Allen

A molehill man is a pseudo-busy executive who comes to work at 9 am and finds a molehill on his desk. He has until 5 pm to make this molehill into a mountain. An accomplished molehill man will often have his mountain finished before lunch.

Carol Ann Duffy

The Light Gatherer

When you were small, your cupped palms
each held a candleworth under the skin,
enough light to begin,

and as you grew,
light gathered in you, two clear raindrops
in your eyes,

warm pearls, shy,
in the lobes of your ears, even always
the light of a smile after your tears.

Your kissed feet glowed in my one hand,
or I’d enter a room to see the corner you played in
lit like a stage set,

the crown of your bowed head spotlit.
When language came, it glittered like a river,
silver, clever with fish,

and you slept
with the whole moon held in your arms for a night light
where I knelt watching.

Light gatherer. You fell from a star
into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside
mirrored in you,

and now you shine like a snowgirl,
a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder
you squeal at and fly in,

like a jewelled cave,
turquoise and diamond and gold, opening out
at the end of a tunnnel of years.