for Sandra Tappenden
Is Hiram married to Esmerelda? Everybody
Has somebody, it seems. I have
A headache today. In my knee.
Yesterday I rewarded myself with a sprawl
On the movie sofa. Today: suffer.
Did Joe drive Conchita to the movie?
I say wonderfully clever things about Future Imperfects,
And why I want to fall in love in Japan.
Where does Janet fit in?
I think I am not a gambler. Horses know loads.
I don't know what that means. (I am worried.
Do you love Barnaby? I am beginning to live in a fictional world
And may never get out.) The next time
You tell me all about your domestic arrangements you will need
To supply footnotes and biographical details of everyone
Involved. Yes, let's all go in the garden
And drink softly drinks. Oh, it's raining, is it?
That won't stop Josh capturing Bethany's heart.
I can hear fireworks, but I can't see them.
RETURNING TO THE SCENE OF ONE'S BIRTH
There are lots of things I want to keep from the people
I'm playing with. Nurse, bring me my surgery mask, please.
I have nothing against enjoyment, as such.
Bird watching is one way. Bird watching is two ways.
Absorb the news. No, I have no idea who writes it.
All I know is to hide before the big scary man comes
Lurching along all dribbly. Then, after they've told us
The TV weather, along comes a full and tiresome evening,
As good a reason as any to procreate recklessly.
All the people who like sex a lot stand on one side of the yard
And all the people who don't care for it stand on the other side.
A few people are scurrying to and fro from side to side etcetera.
I'm up on a teetering chair trying to see out the window.
It's awfully quiet for busy. I can remember as a kid
Getting the wrong idea about strip lighting as I sprawled
In the bed and contemplated the ceiling but it was an okay feeling.
There goes a trolley but it has no cakes on it.
In trays we planted the seeds of revolt but they didn't take root Ð
It can be frustrating waiting around for trees.
I'm only in favour of freedom
Of information if one makes allowances for secrecy.
I am still and silent as a stone at the side
Of a storm-tossed sea. The stone is, I think,
To be exact, a pebble, but even in my immobility
I admire heavy-handed alliteration for
The solace it can bring to one in need of solace
And so, sweet Sylvia, I say it is a stone.
Have I told you lately that snails are interesting?
People forget it.
What are you up to?
It never occurred to me a cloud
Could be lonely. There is usually two at least
Of them but now I just looked up in the sky
And there is one, alone. Time, meanwhile, is
Dashing by and I have to hang my underwear out
While the sun is shining, otherwise
I will have problems tomorrow, which is Tuesday.
Lavender relaxed me today. Ria looked
Her usual alluring but inside I was yawning.
I noticed a sparrow this morning pecking peanuts
Hung on a tree in one of those nut holder things.
You hang them out wanting blue tits and finches
And you get sparrows. No matter:
Sparrows are like snails.
People, forget it.
Dear Pixie Face, I wish you would send me a note.
I don't know how much longer I will be able
To sit here pretending everything is alright.
In moments of quiet desperation I have, I admit,
Had recourse to narcotics and back rubs. Then
In the morning they haul me back from the coast.
Once I was put into a box for my own good.
It is okay to be Romantic,
But not romantic.
© Martin Stannard 2005