Now that I am quite enfeebled
I fall in love with you again.
You the skilled finger speller –
Our only way of being friends.
I remember you – the charming lover,
And how we soon began a dream
A secret marriage, of three children –
To fill the world in between.
The Boston Press learned our Secret.
My family banned you, except in brail –
A go between brought your letters
But plans to meet would always fail.
Carers did what they thought proper –
I was deaf. I was blind.
To stop us having deaf blind children,
Was I foolish, and were they kind?
Now that I am quite enfeebled
I feel your touch on me so slow –
Lightly spelling, playful, talking –
Touch – the greatest thing I know.
(Helen Keller and a temporary male assistant called Peter)
For a moment I cease being an exhibit
as the child copies my hand gestures.
I return to the red temple walls –
a model for the novice monks
drawing from them a good imitation.
Inside the roundhouse is a sanctuary.
Bible stories frescoed on whitewashed walls.
Heavy cross beams above – functional not symbolic.
A sacrament table beneath and a half circle of chairs,
The priest breaking the bread says
‘in this moment past and present become one’.
Now I hear the wind in the trees.
The fan tail steers the sails to face the wind,
Mill stones trundle, flour crushed for bread.
When God first gave a rhythm to the world
it was simple: day and night, night and day –
called it circadian rhythm.
God sent another world a spinning.
Its empty face came and went, came and went –
called it lunar rhythm.
God laid on this a slower beat,
growing hot, growing cold –
called it annual rhythm.
What came at first as the patter of rain
rose again through the stems of plants –
called it precipitation.
Then came creatures small and great
with wings and beaks and songs to sing.
It was God’s creation.
Then came man with stick and drums
counterpointing – changing beat –
a shifting, surging, syncopation.
I sat and cried.
Mummy wouldn’t play.
She was cooking tea
and the new sandpit
was a desert now
where I cried and cried.
Then from out of the sand
I created a man
and with him three friends.
The damp sand shifting
beneath my bare toes.
I talked with them in turns.
Then I created an elephant
that made great marks.
It took all the men to hold it
with big ropes and that
was not enough really
for the elephant got free.
It trampled one man.
The other men carried him
away with a great gash
where his leg was hanging off
and the sand grew red
as dark clouds came over.
When mummy came out
the elephant and the men
went away again
and we made the surface smooth
and created a pool of water
where I washed my hands and feet
All day like a yogi
sitting on a hospital chair –
for a pat on the head
he slowly uncoils.
From inside his jersey
emerging arms search
the surrounding air
for someone to hold.
Lips touched by a spoon.
Sucks up the mushed food.
“You like that Freddie?”
He doesn’t hear
As a fetus no eyes developed
from the rest of his brain.
Because he is here
we assume he is no Helen Kellar,
and don’t take time
trying to get close –
only change him
and feed him
and shave him
and bathe him.
Push him onto the veranda on this sunny day
then push him to bed.
Her life is become marble – serene and alone –
Worn as a gown among cool shadowed walls
Where time conscious visitors meet.
In a blur of coats, dresses, and hats
Visitors swirl beneath her unblinking eyes
Replete in the folds of her dress.
The visitors go to where the sun is still shining
Taking away their chatter and cares.
She can hear sea-shell voices
As a childhood dream’s hollow ebb
Distance grows, shadows grow.
Falls the hush of late afternoon.
There is a sudden movement. Someone cries.
Swishing white coats, clacking heels
Bring again those looming eyes.
Just a handful of skirt shows her anger.
She swallows the syrup as offered.
‘Largactyl’ its burning.
Be True to something. True Blue? True Red? True Yellow? True Purple? True Green? PINK! Or be true to yourself. Your own guiding light. Find a way. Find a voice. Be true!
Weather Forecaster said it was a shocking day today.
Over to Uxbridge.
Nigel Farage will face a grilling from the Question Time audience
after a rough day for Ukip.
Also on the panel are Queen’s Brian May,
Labour’s Tristram Hunt,
Tory Jeremy Hunt
and editor of the Economist … Zanny Minton Beddoes.
Nigel Farage resigned
then he did not resign.
Someone from the audience says
“you are like the rest. You went back on your word.”
I went to visit where you work
and looked around a while.
I went to the room with your name
and rifled through your mail
I tried to turn your computer on
but couldn’t guess the pass
If you’d been there I would not have stayed
but as you weren’t I did