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Ian Patterson : Two poems

      Laugh Like a Piano

after T.S.Eliot

Stunned under hotspur vehemence, odd
starlings on a garden gnome,
we waver, descend lightly yonder
glass-pure flows, your withers panting apace,
& fall then to the ground in turn
with a few gipsy mementos in your ice
bottles waving twice to some light in the air.
So a wood has hidden leaves,
so a wood has adders tanned and angry,
so a wood has letters
solely vested & boding dawn ambrosial,
as the mined desert forebodes hazard.
Ice defined
as a wave incompatible with life and death,
as a way with a boastful ampersand
& an implant faceless as a mile shaking the sand.
Sheets torn away bitter as the external weather
impaled my margin, harsh Eumenides.
Money, descend O Money! How is
a hero ever harmed in sandals, arms feeling so loose
as I wander home that they shoot a bond trader.
My shirt has lost a chest, your hand a posy.
Some tunes these cozy stations steal amuse
The rubble. Midnight. And no-one's repossessed.
      Some Title
Basic flame stands in yellow fog as copse
or corpse logging functions in the distance
of the general earth, a charred mill stands
out of narrow time roundly offered over
dim followers at war with the faces often
recognised. Stake ripped in the heart of
us, from elders on, or a blind or a lamp dew
on grass flickering to dying out can only re-
cord what it won't forget until after a sleep.
Come over all the bridge, nightingales, go
for the acorn hue, jeopardise thrill to a dull
ochre. Drop infancy holdings from another
long night of vertiginous collapse, give her
a renewed taste for life and tidy up and cook
it. Clean the primal stove, looking up. Opt
for thinking under grids and over tasty this
and that function as if, say, a stone to be pro-
nounced or put in the way of how it turns out.
In another naughty hit a couched delphic feeling
does not transform any animal in a letter
to thy hart. The jug, the bowl, the impasto
is my retyred minde, you find it out at a long
laugh scorning all the cares of famine, fabric
choice driven from skies and hedges into normal
bin end searches for even a lark. Say what you
hear, the light has gone and detach and expel
take their place as überwords conjoined to us.
Let me put this out. Though roses flag and dip
in dark memory, stress disrupts their prosody
from one to the other and ever back again in
September, where dash is tied down to handle
with care, or if you wish and drop suddenly
out of sight, death. Set this to come and go and
swallow it down until it clips a lie like a peppery
olive rises in a mother clasp, all grist and iris
dresses. If it's old enough I'll pay to have it, truly.
I'll pray to have it, to make it clear within, and
contained with a mind to match. At the start of
this clue what but pain? Kingfishers for mental
concept of growth as opposed to even moral
sex in a chair, as he would say, how sad after the
reading yet another transformation of the part.
Pinch is destroyed, warm feelings, colour gummed
up and over views of treacly Sunday dissent. Go
down and see, answer the door, step after step.
Drawn by the very worst for what? Wear? Huddle
of erosion may help as if listening also describes
a frame of open doors and windows, if there is a
sense of movement perhaps even found to matter.
Kelp bed and west wind, cries of a pen in various
ways of treating me just kind of melt the flora of
exile. Play is implored by the bank whereon the time
expires in Latin letters, the break comes naturally
if the ringing is exact enough to grow on the shore.
Ian Patterson

Part One of "Some Title"is the first section of a longer poem
Ian Patterson lives in Cambridge, England

Copyright © Ian Patterson and Jacket magazine 1998
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