‘On Woman’ by WB Yeats

https://bumpers.fm/_/embed/b40rvpusfitg01453740

 

MAY God be praised for woman
That gives up all her mind,
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind
That covers all he has brought
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.
Though pedantry denies,
It’s plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens.
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass,
When she the iron wrought, or
When from the smithy fire
It shuddered in the water:
Harshness of their desire
That made them stretch and yawn,
pleasure that comes with sleep,
Shudder that made them one.
What else He give or keep
God grant me — no, not here,
For I am not so bold
To hope a thing so dear
Now I am growing old,
But when, if the tale’s true,
The Pestle of the moon
That pounds up all anew
Brings me to birth again —
To find what once I had
And know what once I have known,
Until I am driven mad,
Sleep driven from my bed.
By tenderness and care.
pity, an aching head,
Gnashing of teeth, despair;
And all because of some one
perverse creature of chance,
And live like Solomon
That Sheba led a dance.

Reality

https://anchor.fm/embed/a4ec21

https://anchor.fm/embed/a4ec21

Reality

You stab me with your eyes

You strip my face away

You cut my mind asunder

and I am bleeding

all over the pillowcase

all down your rosy cheeks.

You’ve had your way with me

and next I’ll lose the ties

that bound us from the start

that calmed my fragile heart

that taught me we were one

so none could come between us

And I am waking

It is the dawning

on

– the age of reality

After the concession

After the concession

A black bird sits on a telephone line,

suspended between wooden poles

aged by water.

This is no day for tears,

no moment for regrets,

no time for tearing-out hair.

There are other black birds

and a seagull catching light

over the Northside.

There is a hill to descend

a twisting road

past cars

and fading disintegrating leaves.

There’s even sun in my eyes.

It’s easier to say nothing,

to notice the knot,

to register the wish

to lock the toilet door

and simply sit.

Oh yes, there’s reason to be thoughtful,

there’s always reason to reflect,

looking at clouds heavy with mist.

There’s always a will to inaction,

a will to ossify.

Black bird statues

behind a crooked spire,

the one with the lightening rod on top.

The off-licence shut,

the graffiti craves attention,

I see Aer Lingus was looking for my vote

‘smart makes the right choice

for Stateside flights this winter’.

The wounded leopard must go back for more food,

the thirsting camel must trek on,

the beehive must protect and cherish

and guard their queen,

even when forced to swarm.

This is no day for tears,

it’s a day my mother did her best to prepare me for,

and my father knew would come.

Remember Job is more than one man,

and black birds are ever present

whenever there’s a breath to be drawn.

___________________

 

10 years ago …

[I don’t want to give you the impression I’m depressed now – so I better let you know I wrote this 10 years ago.]

 

Ink

There is a black blob of ink on my paper
and no amount of dipping the pen
will tidy the stain.

There was an inkwell sunk into my desk
and I used to gather a load of liquid
to decorate the page.

As the tool for writing became a fountain
and I learned to collect my ammunition
leaks came and pus dribbled.

This pool is drawning me down into its depth
and I’m too heavy to float in filth.
I need a good clean.