Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bones (Poem)

This is today's Private Month of Poetry effort - it's a bit laboured and hypertragic, I think, but I was in that kind of blame-my-ancestors mood. Yesterday, as I said I would, I did the first draft of the Little Match Girl poem, which will be for my poetry chapbook, and I polished it today - it's called Ignition. Two days down, 29 to go!

The missteps of people long ago consigned to ground (or ash)
circle, lazily, in double helix;
broken blood and paltry mitochondria
all the ills the flesh is heir to –

All the ills the flesh brings to harvest –

Too much cousin-wedding, on remote and gull-strewn islands;
too much eating – or not – of foods turning toxins
The inheritance:
long Norman noses, pale grub skin, and these –
a symphony of stutters in the code
every year lived, another organ faltering

If not for the counter-balance of melanin and merriness,
gift of a good fairy from central Spain, back when Ireland starved,
perhaps, no prospects of life at all.

The fate is written in the DNA, described in bones.
Nothing else matters nearly so much; a sad thing, somewhat;
Also a comfort, betimes.
The intricate story, over and under the earth, calling, calling,
The sun moves without reverse, and we with it,
Cells attuned to dying, ready to be not:

But not today.

But not today.

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