13 April 2016

kerkevik_2014: (Default)
  Got some catching up to do, not been doing so well, but this is no excuse. 

  Anyway, as part of the effort, a poem that is short and funny; managing to raise a smile in me even at the worst of times. New(ish( since I first heard it three(?) years ago, but I was inspired to find it in a print(able)ed form; finding in my purchase of BBC's Poetry Please publication of its most requested poems. 

  The Cats' Protection League by Roger McGough 

  Midnight. A Knock at the door. 
  Open it? Better had. 
  Three heavy cats, mean and bad. 

  They offer protection. I ask. 'What for?' 
  The Boss-cat snarls, 'You know the score. 
  Listen man and listen good 

  If you wanna stay in the neighbourhood, 
  Pay your dues or the toms will call 
  And wail each night on the backyard wall. 

  Mangle the flowers, and as for the lawn 
  a smelly minefield awaits you at dawn.' 
  These guys meant business without a doubt 

  Three cans of tuna, I handed them out. 
  They then disappeared like bats into hell 
  Those bad, bad cats from the CPL. 

   (also here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pRlMrFkoHg 
   with text taken from here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/poetry/outloud/mcgough_cat.shtml) 

  Goddess watch over us all, 


  Kerk TehKek

kerkevik_2014: (Default)
  One of the reasons I love to listen to Poetry Please is that many times you discover poems that have been around for a very long time, or not very long at all, but you missed on the programme; then discover them when you buy a collection of its most popular requested poetry. 

  This is one such. 


A Disused Shed in County Wexford (1975)

Derek Mahon


“Let them not forget us, the weak souls among theasphodelsSEFERIS, Mythitorema”
for J.G. Farrell

Even now there are places where a thought might grow —
Peruvian mines, worked out and abandoned
To a slow clock of condensation,
An echo trapped forever, and a flutter
Of wildflowers in the lift-shaft,
Indian compounds where the wind dances
And a door bangs with diminished confidence,
Lime crevices behind rippling rainbarrels,
Dog corners for bone burials;
And in a disused shed in Co. Wexford,

Deep in the grounds of a burnt-out hotel,
Among the bathtubs and the washbasins
A thousand mushrooms crowd to a keyhole.
This is the one star in their firmament
Or frames a star within a star.
What should they do there but desire?
So many days beyond the rhododendrons
With the world waltzing in its bowl of cloud,
They have learnt patience and silence
Listening to the rooks querulous in the high wood.

They have been waiting for us in a foetor
Of vegetable sweat since civil war days,
Since the gravel-crunching, interminable departure
of the expropriated mycologist.
He never came back, and light since then
Is a keyhole rusting gently after rain.
Spiders have spun, flies dusted to mildew
And once a day, perhaps, they have heard something —
A trickle of masonry, a shout from the blue
Or a lorry changing gear at the end of the lane.

There have been deaths, the pale flesh flaking
Into the earth that nourished it;
And nightmares, born of these and the grim
Dominion of stale air and rank moisture.
Those nearest the door growing strong —
‘Elbow room! Elbow room!’
The rest, dim in a twilight of crumbling
Utensils and broken flower-pots, groaning
For their deliverance, have been so long
Expectant that there is left only the posture.

A half century, without visitors, in the dark —
Poor preparation for the cracking lock
And creak of hinges; magi, moonmen,
Powdery prisoners of the old regime,
Web-throated, stalked like triffids, racked by drought
And insomnia, only the ghost of a scream
At the flash-bulb firing-squad we wake them with
Shows there is life yet in their feverish forms.
Grown beyond nature now, soft food for worms,
They lift frail heads in gravity and good faith.

They are begging us, you see, in their wordless way,
To do something, to speak on their behalf
Or at least not to close the door again.
Lost people of Treblinka and Pompeii!
‘Save us, save us,’ they seem to say,
‘Let the god not abandon us
Who have come so far in darkness and in pain.
We too had our lives to live.
You with your light meter and relaxed itinerary,
Let not our naive labours have been in vain!’

   Goddess watch over us all, 


   Kerk TehKek 


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