Tom Raworth

(1938 / London / UK)

Gaslight - Poem by Tom Raworth

a line of faces borders the strangler's work
heavy european women
mist blows over dusty tropical plants
lit from beneath the leaves by a spotlight
mist in my mind a riffled deck

of cards or eccentrics
was i
a waterton animal my head
is not my own

poetry is neither swan nor owl
but worker, miner
digging each generation deeper
through the shit of its eaters
to the root - then up to the giant tomato

someone else's song is always behind us
as we wake from a dream trying to remember
step onto a thumbtack

two worlds - we write the skin
the surface tension that holds
what we write is ever the past

curtain pulled back
a portrait behind it
is a room suddenly lit

looking out through the eyes
at a t.v. programme
of a monk sealed into a coffin

we close their eyes and ours
and still here the tune

moves on

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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