These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Corniche - Poetry by Les Murray


I work all day and hardly drink at all.
I can reach down and feel if I’m depressed.
I adore the Creator because I made myself
and a few times a week a wire jags in my chest.

The first time, I’d been coming apart all year,
weeping, incoherent; cigars had given me up;
any road round a cliff edge I’d whimper along in low gear
then: cardiac horror. Masking my pulse’s calm lub-dup.

It was the victim-sickness. Adrenalin howling in my head,
the black dog was my brain. Come to drown me in my breath
was energy’s black hole, depression, compère of the predawn show
when, returned from a pee, you stew and welter in your death.

The rogue space rock is on course to snuff your world,
sure. But go acute, and its oncoming fills your day.
The brave die but once? I could go a hundred times a week,
clinging to my pulse with the world’s edge inches away.

Laugh, who never shrank around wizened genitals there
or killed themselves to stop dying. The blow that never falls
batters you stupid. Only gradually do
you notice a slight scorn in you for what appals.

A self inside self, cool as conscience, one to be erased
in your final night, of faxed, still knows beneath
all the mute grand opera and uncaused effect –
that death which can be imagined is not true death.

The crunch is illusion. There’s still no outside world
but you start to see. You’re like one enthralled by bad art -
yet for a real onset, what cover! You gibber to Casualty,
are checked, scorned, calmed. There’s nothing wrong with your heart.

The terror of death is not afraid of death.
Fear, pure, is intransitive. A Hindenburg of vast rage
rots, though, above your life. See it, and you feel flogged
but like an addict you sniffle aboard, to your cage,

because you will cling to this beast as it gnaws you,
for the crystal in its kidneys, the elixir in its wings,
till your darlings are the police of an immense fatigue.
I came to the world unrehearsed but I’ve learned some things.

When you curl, stuffed, in the pot at rainbow’s end
It is life roaring and racing and nothing you can do.
Were you really God you could have lived all the lives
that now decay into misery and cripple you.

A for adrenalin, the original A-bomb, fuel
and punishment of aspiration, the Enlightenment’s air-burst.
Back when God made me, I had no script. It was better.
For all the death, we also die unrehearsed.

Les Murray (from his collection - Killing the Black Dog))

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