a new poem

NSPIRED BY THE BOOK OF ASA
4 sonnets For Eric, who lives in a London hostel
1.
In terminable pain I see God’s eye.
He favours me, in silent radiology.
I cry for peace, he fastens on a sword.
His breathe is but a limpet-word.
Angels haul gross demons to the feast.
In love I see this love is my least
Possession, to give on to a heating kiln.
Being born is meant to raise our cry.
Crowds glimmer all around me,
I walk in division, a burning raiment
thrown on shoulders like pure cold.
I am killed daily in slaughterhouses
of oxen, where halfway men
are kennelled by worldly lowering –
2.
fed barely, like a forgotten kid;
I weep like a torn coverlid; sleeping
in the hostel on a razor’s bed,
dreaming of how not to bleed;
fear is my companion of the sheets;
I doze between rows steep with men,
Lord, who cannot lift again
themselves back to even broken;
our bridges are all fallen down
in eminent indifferent London-town.
There is no money to take a wife;
and I am unskilled, except in memory;
I’ll recall each unkindness a full life;
my mind is set, a ringing seismograph;
3.
it twitches at the mouse’s laugh;
the cat’s jibe, pavement’s spitted curse;
we live beside a parlour, its hearse
rounds like clockwork, bearing
fortunate applicants to their benefits;
each soul given not what it needs;
only what Mammon can spare today;
it’s thin gruel, a small slice of night;
you’re on your own, and more alone
than even that signifies; removed
often even from your own mind;
left precisely nowhere solid, citizen,
lost on a corner to prattle for pound,
4.
to get pence; coins otherwise destined
for a lotto ticket or the evil Telegraph;
release me from beggary, pleading, going
old or blind, or both, any thing;
I live miles to where someone is king;
none of that kingdom rolls as far
as I lie; prettified seasons sorted high;
there’s castles, carriages, soldiery,
a glistening presence in the chancellery;
water in bottles costing more than bread;
it’s madness sold like silken thread,
woven around the exchequer’s heads;
spend me God, in the sun, make of me
a seed of rain. I wish to spin, risen,
to pivot up as golden growing grain.

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