#poem #poetry #amwriting june compilation

the education of norma

she's too brass tacks banged into the head
but there's something else
seen over coffee
a stifled creative thrust
which if allowed to fly free
would shatter the basis of everything

you see it peel the curtain aside
in stories of school mistresses
redolent with tapioca topped with jam
and cold backsides
in coal-tarred outhouses

she just wants to be heard
wants that fire
   instilled in her daughters
to somehow reflect upon herself

but she's too brass tacks


 back eye

today my youngest son climbed a tree
using all his might balance and strength
standing amid the highest boughs
he reached out his arms
               crying 'look at me'

a girl in his class told him to 'stop showing off'
for he had climbed higher than she

and I thought of pentheus
- that most stupid of men -
who failed to see
that aside from tampons
and wiping their arse backwards
   there is no mystery

misogyny misogny
they've all got misogny
for we can't climb the tree
let us cut him down

and old dionysus
that poor old pentheus
had never seen his sister in the bath
and learned that pipes that pass piss
are little more than a whores kiss

assuming the whore will kiss at all
for her body may well be on call
but her soul is somewhere else

had he never seen a hen party
dressed as nuns or naughty nurses
tottering on heals too high
handbags clutched against the thigh

leery as any idiot man
clutching a lager can
on the first train of the morning

so I called my son down
from that tree
to teach myself the lesson
that men might climb
from time to time
but they must never question



just before we parted
in the space between the final word

just before a blackbird sang

evening rose with a sour milk moon
the countryside beyond
stood but a single broad bounded step

just before that final word

in that time
when our as yet unremembered day
trailed out to the low grassland

a shrouded whiteness fell
as cobwebs on happiness
threaded by the hope of love

that final word that breaks the glass
from which none can go back

and in which there is only parting


The Blue Book

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