AN ACTUAL POEM
FOR A VIRTUAL BOOK OF POEMS

HOMAGE TO BAUDELAIRE


Boredom, yawning gulf
of fatal insomnias -
chasm on whose brink
the abused soul meditates
in appalled resignation.

Vacant looking-glass
that always reflects the same
split enigma of
appearance-reality -
solitude's funeral frame.

("Entends, ma chère, entends la douce nuit qui marche")

*


'There is a moment
all too rare - when happiness
does seem possible,
when loneliness may not be
forever, even longer.

In the deserts of
total isolation, comes
to the traveller
in an empty world a small
oasis, briefly glimpsed from

the backs of camels,
the ships of the desert that
are unsinkable,
while you start waving farewells
correctly interpreted

by those on the shore
as a drowning sailor's last
cheery au revoir
before his spirit founders
in lost horizons' madness.

One of those moments
beyond belief, that alone
is worth the bother
of making belief once more
believable - that childhood

fantasy of fall
after fall into nothingness
when ita all goes dark
at the breakfast table, with
the headache of a bright light

drilling the spirit's
pop-up toaster, and the bell
for school can be heard
faintly like funeral knells
from beyond the tramway tracks ...

That is a moment
unlike any other, when
you suddenly feel
you don't care what happens, and
are intent on being late

for the hell of school,
and for your own funeral
projected backwards
from a faulty machine on
a screen you see is dead blank.



Copyright © James Kirkup 2003


French index
VB15 index