Friday, 5 June 2015

EARTHQUAKES IN HIS HEAD

At times you have to remove your favourite line from a poem for it to work. This is difficult as you are in love with it. You must be ruthless. I have a collection of such lines that I hope will come in useful at some unspecified point in the future.
This first poem came out of a conversation about cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance that our wonderful new government is bringing in this year. They refuse to see dyslexia as a disability.


She trots out all the famous examples,
the people who got on regardless.
Pluck and determination, that's the ticket.
Implicit in her philosophy
is that the ones who struggle, those who fail,
are lazy, shirkers, wanting something for nothing.
I reply people are all different.
Some need more help.
It could have been me,
it could have been you.
She counters with:
I had no support at university!
I had to get on with it!
Then urges me to think of the cost
that supporting dyslexic students adds to our tax bills.
I talk of level playing fields,
equality of access.
She tuts and shakes her head,
regards me as a museum piece.
She knows she is right.
Thatcher's child only concerned with me, me, me.
There was a further [short] stanza that began with my favourite line but it would have weakened the poem.

earthquakes in his head
seismographs show the damage
those blue eyes see elsewhere


here he whispers
something about sugar
and horses brought by his brother


certain music sparks neural pathways
sets him singing
a fine tenor

only forty four with all his life behind him
I am not going to talk about this poem. I think it explains itself.
Here are the Mountain Goats with The Legend of Chavo Guerrero off their latest album Beat The Champ.

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