Chris McCabe (London, UK): Two Untitled Poems

I seek the fine grain with the coarse mind,
The cloth my brain is wrapped in, rough
To the touch of the world's green edges.
My body sometimes knows what's to be

Done, when in name I speak a wild field
That has not been cleared of impediments:
The culture's stones, commerce's salt
That rot the Earth and shut off the sun.

I long to yield beauty, in its own allotment;
Uncurbed and yet refined; freely available
But not cheapened by bargained price.
Let the springs, the bird-songs, the trees

Come into their aloneness like a coronation
That allows the new king to attain greatness
Amidst the very loss that brought them there.
All that is most clear and true is visible

Like the color that breathes itself on rain
To make the surface dazzle with life, to show
That what is beautiful carries between floors
And can be on the ground, or greenly upstairs.


Things are what kings hold- and let go of, once;
Learning too late that the nothing outside belongs
To the nothingness buzzing in our blood, and will
Connect to it, as a burglar will drill through
Steel locks and busy tumblers, to our blood.
The tempest of existence thrums and thunders,
Rumbling the body like the great beating of a kettle drum,
Announcing the hard hollows and stretched surfaces
Of ourselves, our groaning testimony to being present
Against our wish, presented to an audience who loves us less.
We sense the vibrancy of loss as a humming of violins
Like a surgery wild with last-minute cutting, a tuning
Up of instruments and mastery- the universe
Has a dancer's body and a maggot's mind.

c. Chris McCabe 2009