Jean Bernard Parr

Bronze Star - 2,588 Points (26th May.1946 / Sallanches, France)

Diva (1989) - Poem by Jean Bernard Parr

An insistent cymbal
a plangent violin
traffic outside, night rain
On the pavement, zigzag lights
traded in for this
muted mutated murmur
Then a single voice
heralding the pain of God
dwarfing this punier pain
in this cathedral of sound
It is God who rules here,
the shared around One
In all of us.
Now the choir, clean as a laser cut
severs the chains
now, I am free of you

A time ago when
on that day
the day I metalled up to leave you
on that day your blondness didn't help
That bright phare bringing my ship
towards angry wreck

In this valentine red theatre seat
I turn to look at you
a profile once soft and yielding
a hard mask now, petrified by me
I can only guess at the
bundle of thoughts you will carry,
not gift wrapped at all, when you grow old
A time ago when, my grief, it flowed
for days until the tap ran cold

There floating
red-rimmed on the stage
The death lamenting voice,
ululating its
fan of tragedy over us
like a space gun
close the book,
blow out the candle,
ring the bell;
I have excommunicated sorrow,
commanded it to depart
as I sit there beside you,
wishing to be
a machine, a man without a heart.

You cover my hand, too late
the keys have been turned,
the memories spin and blur
the voice shows us the beginning of time,
how we count for nothing, yet are everything.
The voice beckons towards
a journey into nothingness

Forget warm cornfields
blades of grass between parted lips
forget warm bright wood
sunday papers spread like water lilies
forget the swirl of fish, those
gently strangling weeds of parental visit
forget the soft laughter in the room next door
forget the cat purr of the Mini
pouncing at traffic in Camden
forget the stiff cotton nested warmth
of careless creases, and sudden lust
forget the trilling phone, friendly affirmations
and party invitations
forget the fervid murmur in the Anarchists'Bookshop
where there in a corner lurks the reedy acolyte
of the half baked theory
and later, while doing the washing in a hotel laundry
He lisps the litany of distortions and textual evasion
And with a logic at once frightening and dreary
Bends the meaning, perfects the deadly algebra
for genocide in some forgotten nation.

The unity of the choir annihilates my senses
I am transported to a pastoral scene;
a school of pregnant B52s
ploughing high sierra furrows
lowing and lowering, this one an airborne herd
high up and giving birth to death
The new born and unseeing bombs
wind ripped from their metal wombs
'Suck on that, Motherf*****s! '
That will teach you to be poor
That's what you get for eeking
reclaiming and recycling
for mastering small time husbandry
and making the litre of water last all day,
and above all,
that's what you get for looking up,
hand on mattock, anxiously at the sky

'You will find God up here, Motherf*****s
and a special kind of rain'

And the choir empties us of pity
with its celestial syphon
There is no room here for you and me
domestic dramas and burnt toast under the grill
This is about the bigger, and looking down
My hands fly apart, free, a fluttering thrill
I look to you and see a stranger, no emanation
a face cast in granite, immobile with frozen lips
I must go on, having done the deal with
Mephistopheles, taken his gambling chips
I rise from the red plush theatre seat, willing
Feet to walk, suddenly all around
is talk and chatter,
but I hear nothing, just a roaring
one door opens, another to close
Outside, only footsteps clatter
Outside
The black and yellow eyed panther crouches
Waiting.

Topic(s) of this poem: breaking up


Poet's Notes about The Poem

sometimes events in your life get magnified by the backdrop of something bigger, here the Vietnam war. But I wrote this later, ten years later it was starting make me angry. To tell you the truth I didn't know what subsistence farming was, yet alone jungle war. Planting rice in paddy fields looked dead precarious at the age of 20. Not like you're on a huge Massey Fergusson or anything

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 27, 2016


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