A Visit to Sylvia Plath’s Grave
Seeds of grass, pods of a clock
rock in the wind which picks up
and the dog barks once – we climbed
up green cobblestone steep street
and playground to Heptonstall
saw the abandoned ship drift
along a gravestone sea-path
and bump against the present.
It talked, the wind, it said words
from a wind tongue, softly, out
of itself in hidden verses.
A button is enough, placed
In her dirt. Sigh with the breeze,
over the empty space
The river never rests – pushed
by its own waters, it runs
pulled forward with earth-mass speed
round the bend in the land depth,
and at every moment, rain
sinks from the hills around – ends
with a collapse, its own path.
It is so fast and soundless
this – small orgasm of force
trillionfold, rumble drowned.
So perfectly the river
is loved by the rainfall – I
would have such friends
Oh please please please let me not step
on snails any more, it provokes
moments of panic and questions.
Like what makes a snail the lesser?
We all squirm and have our dark shells.
Entire belief systems are crushed,
just like that. By small accident.
If the snail doesn’t matter, then…
My hopes and dreams bypass the snail
and I can live in a dream world
beyond, where political talk
never betrays anyone. Where
good men are honoured. Good people.
There once was a world where good reigned.
The demons got bored and planned coups.
Death meant nothing to them. They ran
in the streets screaming slanderous
screams that cut the good buildings down.
They wrote newspapers and chattered
in their odd logic, disregarding
tears, emotions. They thought little.
They rolled around in little shells
like a physical process, then
I knew. I was better than them.
Something in form like a poem
so in form you may sit and read
poetry. In form, the writer
can then be a poet and yet,
the content is impossible
to talk about. An excellent
trick. But think if this caught on. Books
full of lines of garbled text would
soon align along shelves, and talk
of impossible things would grow.
And I for one, welcome this course.
Better than poems about kings
and queens and other antiques. More
poems about the love life of
tomatoes, and beaches falling
through giant hourglasses. More
poems about witches on trains
poems about poems written
by ancient pale worms, confusion,
the arc of the covenant as
an interstellar alien
heart. More poems where love is not
quite expressed in a throwaway
half list-verse talking poetry