Mea Culpa

So then I found I could turn and walk.
I found that I was young and easy going
as I went between over-full skips and garages
full of burnt mattresses and single wheels – each
calling out to whoever left them there.
Glorious were the days I strolled out through
blocks of tenements and flats with clothes lines
outstretched like yawning arms and hung with
brightly coloured washing.

So that I felt like this, felt like running,
felt powerful and green – golden and shining –
merciful to every daisy and dandelion licking
through parks of reclaimed bricks that graced
my green field, that drifted heedless in the wind –
lovely and warm – golden and shining on unblessed
homes that would never feel my singing voice or
rise awake to wander in the simple light.

So what I did was to find a tree to sit
beneath and rest my back against the trunk
and close my eyes and dream of tunes;
little tunes I had sung when I was young:
Can I get there by candlelight?
Yes, there and back again.

Sung like a catechism or a huntsman’s call –
a bugle at early morn to call soldiers to.
Slowly. Slowly. Slowly yawning on fresh green grass.

So with my time I was happy and carefree.
I sat still beneath the tree with my eyes closed
and listened to an airplane putter in the clouds
and the swearing of children in an empty asphalt playground.
I sat as a monarch, my thoughts drifting like smoke
higher than the high-rise tenements around my court.
I stayed as long as the sun takes to revolve
and felt no need to move or to be borne away
but remain in my green field beneath my green tree.

So it was as I sat it started to rain.
and my thoughts turned to the children who went home running.
I sat there, on this shadow of a day
under the tree, beneath the rain clouds dreaming
thoughts wrapped up in chains, fleeing for cover
with too much spare time on my hands.
There was nothing for me to say or left for me to do –
the doors had closed, the washing had been brought in too
but I still remained, alone, under the tree in the field.

All this could take place on a Sunday afternoon
and I did not care; I had no reason to.
I was free to sit beneath the trees
and I had liberty to watch the sparrows feed
on these marshmallow days. Sleeping and dreaming
I could hear suburban songs rising
and watch scrounging dogs peeing on black bin sacks
because, I felt, I was not a slave to their dying
but young and far out with no need to go back.


Posted on May 9, 2013, in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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