but if you are happy, what will you write about?
by Fran Lock
the surfeit-stink of mornings, doubly sullied
and pungent in my memory. the intercession
of a sword, christ's body, luminous and reeking.
i will write concealment's season, the lauded
thorn, a calcite myth of kings, the swaggering
rapacity of guards at arms. are you men of kent
and slender means? are you kentish men, who
scent the air, and bear your valley strategems
before you? bread is the cant of a common
mouth. betwixt the chapel and the channel is
a long, hard slog. i will write a cold day,
whittled into brilliance; the chalk tongue
staking its slurred alarm to the hills: where
are you going? where are you from? these,
the poison maxims of a barracks-prattle.
prats, prating, of appetite and tyranny; our
serial griefs supplied in bulk. where we
are struck until we spark. i'll write the law-
and-order leaflet in my letterbox, the cold
esteem in a stone heart. a maggot,
precision-drilling the eye of a dead gull
on the tow-path. i will write this levelling
remedy. into fly-tip and trivia: the whey-
faced plaints of bigotry. i will write
the lumpenly done-by, insipid with liturgy,
picking the sin from the treads in their
trainers; who train their wanting
wits at the weekend, who wander lonely
singing how they'll never walk alone,
in the hair shirts of their season tickets.
to be numbered here, among the clucking,
where the suburb erupts into race-hate
and birds. i will write of men reduced
to jobs, their jobs reduced to firms,
manors, corps and crews. men, idle
and violent, in the lisping vernal argot
of the spring, loafers and serfs.
and how, finally, we are not what
the barbed wire wills of us. girl,
like a slip of paper in a psalter, pressed.
and a rare pasqueflower, a rivet
joining the world to the world.
meandering medway, weal to the sea.
your legends and consensus. pasture,
passing over. i will write the canine
haste of run. from here the view
has houses. campaign medals, studding
a luddite corpse.
Dr. Fran Lock has finally escaped out of London to live in Folkestone. We wish her happiness.
Fran Lock Ph.D. is a some-time dog whisperer, activist, and the author of seven poetry collections and numerous chapbooks, most recently 'Raptures and Captures', published by Culture Matters, the last in a trilogy of works with collage artist Steev Burgess.