The Greatness of Empire

Singularly inappropriate perhaps for a Monday morning, when we are all ready to attach a new week of work and challenges.  The sun is shining, I am feeling pretty chipper on the whole, but there is always a part of me that responds anxiously to world news…

 

Once the spleen is vented out

When the ghosts are bed to rest

If the sorrow finds its match –

we shall desist.

 

With the seas sucked dry of ripples

Where secret forests live, unfold,

As each phrase falls on waxen ears –

We slacken, curled.

 

An attempt, a jealous grope this,

To woo the caverns of our mind.

Remote echo, no light to blind

The smouldering ruins of our bliss.

The Ballad of Night Anxious

Image from http://homepages.tcp.co.uk/~nicholson/alice.html

What does it matter where my body happens to be?  My mind goes on working all the same.

I’ve done it again. Unwitting, unwelcome,

I’ve woken up Knight Anxious,

all creeping worries and lingering thoughts,

all lists and fears, tapeworms,

my warts magnified fivefold by the conjured dangers of the night.

 

He heralds tumbling tonefalls, a rain-soaked day ahead.

Regardless of the weather, he never cooks the pudding,

yet proud of his invention, he harrumphs on horses high,

failure denigrated, unhinged from little pleasures,

unwashed with median joys.

 

He watches, waits, then pounces, always the live menace,

but always unexpected.

After all this time

I still can’t find the trigger

nor welcome him sagely

nor sluice him off like wet reproaches.

I hesitate just one second:

each time the haircracks multiply,

he seeps through, sucking

all air from the cave of my lungs:

infallible gravity.

 

We soldier on, we soldier on, mounted or on foot,

no end in sight, no redeeming dawn,

we balance, we teeter… and some of us fall.