To Posterity

Louis MacNeice

When books have all seized up like the books in graveyards
And reading and even speaking have been replaced
By other, less difficult, media, we wonder if you
Will find in flowers and fruit the same colour and taste
They held for us for whom they were framed in words,
And will your grass be green, your sky blue,
Or will your birds be always wingless birds?

merrow_0027

Shrunk

#WorldMentalHealthDay:

Edwina is my rinkydink. She and I
walk a fine line: hours at a time.
She talks, listens, and watches me cry
hours at a time. Hours at a time.

We’ve discussed my ingrowing multi-layered
sadnesses, the malfunctioning neurones,
the crosses and noughts, the things I fear,
the petrol, the rope, the heights, and the trains.

The scrappy paper form I’m about to sign
records my treatment plan. It précises
cataract wisdoms shapelessly aligned
to the vapid news feed of my insane days.

It shrinks the agonisingly tangled
months of unrelenting mental pain
into three sloping lines of banal,
barely legible, longhand chlorophane.

’What is this for?’ I asked. ’It’s just paperwork’
Edwina said blasé. ’Yes, but what is it for?’
I raised my gaze. She gave me a blatant look.
’It’s for’, she said, ’the Coroner.’

Fire buckets
fire buckets