Aunt Sally Speaks - Poem by Kenneth Allott
Who have been educated out of naive responses,
The hoodoo of love, the cinderella of class
Knowing that everywhere man has the same clock face,
the same moody defences
Against age and the loss of love in the hope of millennimums
Who think too much perhaps of elegance
Or the form of wisdom, having outgrown dreams
Like baby clothes a long while since;
Wiseacres playing with terrible dolls in the twilight
holding our sides, thinking of mad Loyola
Or that bald maker of roads, the much stabbed Caesar
Till the stars are bright;
Who cannot live in the Very Lights of the headlines
Or forget the unrehearsed summer of the shires
Because Europe is frightened, quakes like a woman,
Looks wildly behind?
How shall we live except as plants or fays
Who cannot take ten deep breaths in any crowd?
Neither the whimsical mob, nor those whose better times
Are only a pierrots disguise
For the disastrous pathos of their present?
What shall we do who cannot place a candle
Before the ikon of the future, nor yet acquiesce
Unconsciously in habit?
For whom the actor's gesture, the preacher's word
Are not enough being at all times too conscious
Of the shortcomings of motive, who refuse drugs
And the tailspin of madness?
What shall we do with our hardened arteries
Under the zeppelin shade of catastrophe
but emulate the gloss and selfishness of china
Till the clocks fly away?
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