mirella: (Default)
One night a poem came up to a poet.
From now on, it said, you must wear a mask.
What kind of mask? asked the poet.
A rose mask, said the poem.
I've used it already, said the poet,
I've exhausted it.
Then wear the mask that's made
Out of the nightingale's song, use that mask.
But it's an old mask, said the poet,
it's all used up.
Nonsense, said the poem, it's the perfect mask,
Nevertheless, try on the god mask,
That mask illuminates heaven.
It's a tired mask, said the poet,
And the stars crawl about in it like ants.
Then try on the troubadour’s mask,
Or the singer's mask,
Try on all the popular masks.
I have, said the poet, but they fit too easily.
Now the poem was getting impatient,
it stamped its foot like a child,
it screamed, Then try on your own face,
Try on the one mask that terrifies you,
The mask only you could possibly use,
The mask only you can wear out.
The poet tore at his face till it bled,
This mask? he asked, this mask?
Yes, said the poem, why not?
But he was tired of masks,
He had lived too long with them.
He snatched at the poem and stuck to his face.
He chewed on it, spat bits out, destroyed it.
Its screams were muffled, it wept, it tried to be lyrical,
It wriggled into his eyes and mouth,
Into his blood it wriggled.
The next day his friends did not recognise him,
They were afraid of him.
Now it's the right mask, said the poem, the right mask.
It clung to him lovingly, and never let go again.

National Poetry Day
mirella: (Default)
A summer of rain, then a gap in the clouds
and The Queen jumped from the sky
to the cheering crowds.
We speak Shakespeare here,
a hundred tongues, one-voiced; the moon bronze or silver,
sun gold, from Cardiff to Edinburgh
by way of London Town,
on the Giant's Causeway;
we say we want to be who we truly are,
now, we roar it. Welcome to us.
We've had our pockets picked,
the soft, white hands of bankers,
bold as brass, filching our gold, our silver;
we want it back.
We are Mo Farah lifting the 10,000 metres gold.
We want new running-tracks in his name.
For Jessica Ennis, the same; for the Brownlee brothers,
Rutherford, Ohuruogu, Whitlock, Tweddle,
for every medal earned,
we want school playing fields returned.
Enough of the soundbite abstract nouns,
austerity, policy, legacy, of tightening metaphorical belts;
we got on our real bikes,
for we are Bradley Wiggins,
side-burned, Mod, god;
we are Sir Chris Hoy,
Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton, Kenny, Hindes,
Clancy, Burke, Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas,
Olympian names.
We want more cycle lanes.
Or we saddled our steed,
or we paddled our own canoe,
or we rowed in an eight or a four or a two;
our names, Glover and Stanning; Baillie and Stott;
Adlington, Ainslie, Wilson, Murray,
Valegro (Dujardin's horse).
We saw what we did. We are Nicola Adams and Jade Jones,
bring on the fighting kids.
We sense new weather.

I like this - I don't know if the formatting is right, grabbed it from a news page but haven't seen it in print yet. I gather the lists of names are attracting negative comment, but I like poems like American Names and so on, so it's to my taste.

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mirella

October 2012

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