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last update: 25 Feb16

 

 

The Wren                      Cork & String

 

Edgar regards his attire                      Chez Popoff

 

The Wren

Here you are again,
chivvying me
through the fresh snow,
each step a shiver of sweat,
a drink of breath.
I manage though
to say ‘Hello’ in your
slab of a cave.
You really are
Troglodytes troglodytes
as much as I saw you
on St. Stephen’s Day
in Lincolnshire’s grand emptiness,
or down my terrace at home
where you bickered at me
in my domestic husbandry.
Why do you follow me, wren,
with your ‘tic-tic-tic’,
your quizzical tail?
I’ll do what I want, thank you,
as hard as this is
as foolish as I am, maybe,
and tomorrow I’m sure
you’ll berate me again
ecstatic on Annapurna’s slopes.
 

Malcolm Carson

in collection, Rangi Changi, 2010, Shoestring Press,
ISBN 978-1-9073561-8-6



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Cork & String

We have heard across the marsh
there’s been a death.
We offer our services. We do
those things you’d rather not:
block apertures, seal ducts
with cork and string.
You may think we’re indecent
in our haste but we know
you can’t be too soon
to prevent indiscretions.
We face the facts, have seen
how compositions
unravel on a gurgle.
We will be swift up the stairs,
we’ll find the way,
we always do;
good craftsmen sniff
where they’re needed,
where there’s a disjunction.
Do not be ashamed
to let us in. Prurience
is not our business.
Your neighbours will learn
nothing from us
– but then they’ll want
discretion for themselves.
Admit the time has come
to put away untidiness.
Life’s impediments –
joy and grief – weigh us down
prevent us from getting things
in order. Look behind us
at winter’s fields, shorn of crops,
fallow, hedges razored,
wheelings guttered with rain.
We like it so: so should you.
 

Malcolm Carson

in collection, Breccia, 2007, Shoestring Press,
ISBN 978-1-9048865-3-2



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Edgar regards his attire

Little help against the wind and rain
and calls from Tom. The clothes I have
show stains of murderous events,
conspiracies and blind jealousy’s child.
Burrs cling to the troubled heart,
Robin-run-the-hedge teases
the skin to scratch away where nothing is,
sets up a cause of intemperate heat.
My legs bear evidence of brashing’s scores
like the flail of father’s words
or brother’s calumnies which breeches
cannot forefend.
 

Malcolm Carson

first published in The Interpreter’s House 51;
in collection Route Choice, 2016, Shoestring Press,
ISBN 978-1-9103235-0-2



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Chez Popoff

Une nouvelle vague de beatniks
was how we read of ourselves,
squatting on the pavement,
backs to Popoff’s, rue de la Huchette.
This was all I could have dreamed of,
had read about. Taken in
by this Russian émigré, we sat around
spending as little as we could,
stored much in memories,
talked of Sartre, poetry, jazz:
too easy to parody now.
Hughes and Gunn in my pocket,
I felt parochial. So did Al;
I caught him at the Gare du Nord,
boarding the train for Cleethorpes.
 

Malcolm Carson

first published in Great River Review, Fall/Winter 2012,
Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Minnesota, USA;
in collection, Cleethorpes Comes to Paris, 2014, Shoestring Press,
ISBN 978-1-9073566-0-5



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