Old bells, old beret

Listened to news from Paris today, after the Charlie Hebdo attack.  This afternoon they broadcast the bells tolling - old Paris bells, deep & groaning.

I blogged recently about "occasional poems".  My method, time & again, over 25 years, has involved a sort of recursive movement - a fold-back on what came before.  I have a lot to work with.  The poems roll out for a while; then they turn, making a kind of feedback loop, & going forward at the same time (hopefully).

This process is a motif in the poems themselves.  It's about recollecting what came before.  There's also a theological dimension to this.  History is about remembering something - someone - buried or misunderstood, but stubbornly there - will not go away.

I see someone on the street who re-appears often in my poems (over decades).  At the same time, I notice the final two stanzas of a poem I posted here the day before the Charlie Hebdo incident : lines which seem to celebrate or beautify the very name of the magazine.  Very strange.  This too is a kind of backward glance, an elegiac impulse.

Here's another occasional poem, then, written today.  Another collage, another cartoon - maybe topical, maybe not.


Cherish yet this goblin-goblet
buried in George’s field.
Iron curve, silvered
by time & rain – thin graphene net.

Your delicate recursive thread
bears planetary load.
Her slow gait (pigeon-toed)
& long brown coat, her bowed head

musing down the street, black hair
beneath an old beret.
Agenbite of inwit,
egret; sad, by shoreline (ancient ire).

Time shunts loom’s backbrace (thundering
boom).  Young Charlie’s oak,
febrile with Hebrew spokes
(dove-speak).  Gdspd, my blundering

cartoon – your secret sunny man
is safe with me.  I fell
from towers of Notre Belle
Dame, late of Galilee (bold Magdalen)

when the lights went out.  Hawk’s eye
& raven’s wing, a shadow-
script of Jonah’s prow
just now emerging from the sea,

the Southern Cross of everything.
Rose octahedron in
your heart... ponderous bronze
groaning (pain)... OK, Ahaz.  Palm-king.


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