A FAREWELL TO POETRY

i  a found poem


I am coming to grips
with saying farewell.
The drama eludes me,
because it does not include me.

In the poetry world, that is,
the world of poets writing poetry,
I think it's plausible
to say you include yourself.

I say farewell to poetry
because my friends are poets.
I say farewell to poetry
because they attend my readings.

After all, they know I will
attend their readings.
It is no longer necessary
to censor myself and what I say.

I am saying farewell to poetry. It's true,
I've had no time to think about this,
and cannot think about this,
but, all the same, it's farewell, poetry.

My friends are no longer poets.
My wife is not a poet. She does not
want to read with me in Rochester.
She is such a terrorist at heart.


ii  after Yannis Ritsos


122
A child has a kite the size of her hand; by drawing it over her head, she attracts large butterflies which accompany her.

123
Along the waterfront, the faŤades are peeling after too many photographs.

124
Bad weather changes the way we think.

125
A seaside resort. A wooden shack and a fenced-off yard. Brand new tricycles and pedal cars.

126
In a favourite library, the books are classified by the age of the author at the time of composition.

127
Smoke from mountain fires drifts along the rias to the sea. Ash settles on drinks at the pavement bar.

128
3 am in the bunk-room. A man enters, barefoot, and stares silently at the sleepers.

129
Bobbing where the stream chuckles over stones, the bird they call the washerwoman.

130
Balance makes weight disappear.

131
At the stone circle, offerings have been laid: coins, shells, small bouquets of wild flowers.

132
A canal basin. Drunks. And a gang of men awaiting a luxury coach.

134
Full-time drinkers at daybreak savour the vowels which tired throats can make.

135
At low-tide, the sandbanks emerge like breasts from a bath.

136
The blue boat belongs at sea.

137
For a happy life, Epicurus recommends freedom, friends and reflection. Another whisky, please.


iii  Giovanni Bellini


I thought
for a moment
you were wearing
a halo

but it was only
a wheeltrim
someone had hung
in the trees.


         © Philip Rush 2006