Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Year Quite Round


A poem for daughter Helen who celebrated her birthday yesterday, just a week after giving birth to Lukas.

A Year Quite Round

So life balloons, deflates, and just as well.
You’re born and grow and reach a stable size,
the world meanwhile shows no sign of surprise:
the clock moves on, the hammer strikes the bell,
the hour arrives and goes with no more fuss
than you’d expect. Black holes and stars look on;
the galaxies expand and soon are gone
without a proper leave-taking. For us
time is ourselves, our body clocks tight wound,
not digital but analogue, with springs.
Mechanical and fallible, we bust,
require repair, are liable to rust,
but frankly we’re not bothered by these things.
What goes around, we figure, comes around.

In your case, darling, round has meant quite round
(this year at least, balloons have been the rage).
Ballooned with life, not air, the body-cage
expands into the grand maternal mound
it has since the beginning when the earth
was busy swelling continents and seas,
and simian forebears scampered down from trees
to walk upright and measure time and birth
through their own bodies. What the planets know,
remains beyond us. Certainly we’re born,
that much we celebrate the usual way,
and year by year we look to mark the day
with loud celestial hymn and harp and horn
and all the brass the cosmic winds might blow.


Mr. Philoctetes Digressius said...

You're unparalleled, George. That's an earth-shattering poem, a powerful peal for this little person to enter the world with, one life-bringing scry now joining others. Masterful. I could say more, . . . I just leave it at: just sitting here in awe.

Congratulations to your daughter and best wishes for your grandchild.

George S said...

Thank you very much Mr PD both for the good wishes and the generous praise. The recipient was happy with the poem, which was accompanied by a beautiful close-up photograph of a very round lychee, taken by wife, C.

Coirí Filíochta said...
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Coirí Filíochta said...

I splurged into a brief weekend bender with Henry Vaughan's They Are All Gone into the World of Light! this Friday and doubled the amount of times to two, that a text entered by Carol Rumens into conversation and critical debate at her graduina forum, invoked a sincere intellectual fizz of imbhas, the compositional excitement, grain and Imaginative grease dreaming smooth in geodic HQ .

The one prior time the former full connection happened 2 years into Carols four years of choosing week after week poem after poem, from her so far 250 seperate individual and unique choices, with Donne's Sun Rising that was her choice the second week of October 2009.

Up till then not one poem had struck true, until Friday the odds of it were 250/'1 and at a stroke Vaughan's poem halved them when I went from a singular, one-off experience of falling in literary love at first site and getting into the poem instantly.

Now it has happened twice some sound attained on floors above opened onto prayerful skeletons animating voices and narrators heard in dreamy parentethis beyond the upper doors.

Coirí Filíochta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coirí Filíochta said...

So life's balloon deflates and just
as well you’re born and grow seek

the noble state reach a stable size

the world meanwhile shows no sign
of surprise the clock moves on

the hammer strikes a bell the hour
arrives with no fuss and goes more

than you expect black holes and stars

expanding galaxies are soon gone

taking leave without a proper us
body time ourselves are clocks

tight wound digital and analogue
spring not with it mechanicals

fallible and we bust repair are

to rust, but frankly we’re not
bothered by what goes on around us

these things our common ground
source its figure comes around

our case darling round meant quite

round this year at least balloons rage

ballooned have been with life
not air the body-cage expands into,

grand maternal mound it was since

the beginning of the busy earth
when the earth was busy swelling

continents seas & simian forebears
scampering down from trees who got

upright to walk time's feet
measured through our own body at birth

your planets now remain beyond us
certainly ya'll born that way we

celebrate the usual way and year
by year look to mark the day loud

celestial hymn, harp and horn
& all the brass cosmic wind, might

blow a 'dinkli' verification word.

Thanks for being a sport George. I don't know how it will read and will delete it if the Transcendentalist De Danann decide.

Dick Jones said...

Congratulations to Helen - she was in the 6th Form when I started at St Chris as Head of Drama - and to you on a fine poem.

George S said...

Coiri, you've lost me there. I wasn't following Carol in the Guardian there. Flattered to see lines and part lines of mine there, but am still at the very edge of a chasm of puzzlement.

George S said...

Dick, many thanks. I'll pass your best wishes on to Helen, who is recovering from her labours.