Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Kiss of Death


For a poet, it’s being appointed Poet Laureate. And for this blog, it seems, it’s putting in a poem. Daily readership went up to nearly fifty when I wrote something about the ‘Road Runner’ cartoons, and it’s dropped steadily since then; just at the moment it’s about five people a day. (Or one person five times, or one person three times and another twice, or…) So what have I got to lose? Well, those five, but anyway, here’s a poem, and one of mine to boot; in fact the title poem of a book of mine:

Foreign Correspondence


Don’t trust the guide-book, or the map: one notes
motorways, an airport, tower blocks;
the other talks of earthquakes, shattered rocks,
ruined houses sheltering wild goats.


Routinely confident, to meet the need
for first-hand information, we despatched
our two best men, resourceful and well-matched,
or so the tests and field reports agreed.


One returned within the week: a poor
report, laconic: ‘Nothing to see or do,
people hostile, primitive, and few.’
He left the firm; refuses to say more.


Three years later, now, the other writes:
useless notes of sleepless moonlit nights.


Oh, the mandatory picture: this is the cover of the book:


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