It’s Sunday afternoon. I have appraisals to finish, still haven’t started the Chesil Theatre 10X10 entry, we’re in the middle of cooking, and there’s lots to be sorted before the return of the work week tomorrow. So, naturally, I’ve written a poem. It’s a bad one, because it’s in blank verse. Blank verse, without a recogniseable meter. Sorry.
“Blank verse is the poetical equivalent of Abstract Art. By which I mean, it’s rubbish.”
Henri de Starqueville, 1972*
I saw a woman.
She was holding a sign that said
And I thought “No.”
“Apathy doesn’t help.
The sideways slide of the eyes
Erasing the woman from the mind
Easing the passage of the pedestrian
Whose pockets jingle as they stride by her.
Prejudice doesn’t help.
Assuming that the cigarette
You’re smoking is proof that you
Will waste any gift on the wrong appetites
As if I have the right to decide that.
Faith doesn’t help.
At least, I don’t think
That my views on god, or
The righteousness of my beliefs
Will be welcome or useful, or
Even be tolerated unless they accompany
A more concrete demonstration of charity.”
These thoughts occupied me.
It was only today, looking back
That I realised, despite these thoughts,
Despite her sign saying “anything helps”
I had not
*No, there’s no such person. This is my view. Blank verse is a terrible, terrible cheat, but this is how the poem turned up. Once again, I’m very sorry.
Despite the chill wind
and the poet’s misgivings
blank verse touches hearts