The challenge for this poem, should you choose to accept it, is guess the title (or the ‘subject’ of the poem). I know, I know, sometimes a poem isn’t ‘about’ anything, but this particular one was written in response to a very specific fear (some might say I have too many fears in general). A much earlier version of this poem appeared in the online multilingual literary (and arts) magazine http://www.respiro.org/
First the little slip.
Name much praised
remembered slightly aslant
like a jigsaw piece chewed and frayed
not quite fitting in its groove.
Then a petulant rewrite
of yesterday’s events:
a pout of a travesty
bearing no semblance, no cause, no fruit.
Too stubborn to admit all is haze and indifference.
Next, the heartbeat stop before mad scrabble
and dig and delve
to capture that elusive frame
in the broken film of the mind.
Finally, the chasms beckoning:
throw self in?
chuck pretence out?
make way for shadows,
population of yesteryear?
Darker and darker the woodland cover
hunched, stop-cock breathing,
waiting for the elliptical, haphazard flux to cease
the lynx-bared jaw of foaming bite
those fixed clear eyes of poison fire.
Precarious rock after rock
the chamois cleared.
But only just.
its foothold less secure
chasms will close in-
to beckoning pools of blankness.