I sigh away my life, oh, with the sound!
For I care - do I not? - no longer for
its poetry: talk about swans in white
mist like mist's own flowers; the weeping
willow's barbed tears - an exposed fraudery!
Talk about the dark road that sweeps me up
to the centre of the town, where its banks
and churches have crept up on a wave of light!
Talk about the whole sad day with its
euphemisms, its omissions: its slow
blackening time, its jokes turned to curses.
Talk about the one communicative
haven, the bilge they call 'silence': watch it
turn the faces, and swing open glass doors.
Written in Reading, Berkshire, UK while a young man (1970). I found the necessity, as imposed by my hard-working mother, to hold down a remunerative job inherently depressing. The said necessity atrophied religious hope and joy based on simple faith, so that my mother, a devout practising Roman Catholic, came to honestly believe this life was all there is. Pope Francis too as evident in his prioritising values expressed recently where instead of a religious perspective of eternity holding out hope to the poor, he blames ‘man’ (and avoids mention of God’s providence) in a temporal perspective as if this life is all there is.
Note: ‘fraudery’ in line 5 is a word I coined, finding its association with ‘embroidery’.