X Diary 01 A Solitary Lunch Hour - Poem by Stewart McKenzie
While surveying an empty house –
Abandoned scraps of unknown lives
Lying in corners,
A plastic slatted curtain slapping a wall
In the silent interior,
Children in the sunny street outside crying 'No no!
You must say GENERAL OLIVER One Two Three',
A ginger cat lazy on a wall in each numbered window
– I found a book of Norse mythology
Which I read
While eating my lunch in a nearby cafe.
Returning unwillingly from the spring sunshine
To my solitary task
I found the door to darkness forced ajar.
Three weary men with wary eyes
Came down from the hills when the war was lost.
Dazed and bewildered they came to the ruins
Of the works of men by the works of men
And on one remaining wall they saw
A farewell message sprayed in red-
'We multiply and dwindle
And nurse our interchangeable dreams
And pale loves
In curious isolation.
The heroes chained within us
No longer even struggle for release
Believing themselves to be free'
Then the one who was maddest and furthest from home
Laughed high and shrill and slapped his thighs
And cried 'The Fenris Wolf is loose
That was bound with the cord of elves and dwarves
Which they made from the sound of the step of a cat
And the breath of a fish and the spit of a bird
And a woman's beard and a city’s green
And they vowed it would hold to the end of time.'
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