Responding toMeeting the Bar: Critique and Craft at the d’Verse pub for poets, I have very little to say, except this poem wouldn’t leave me alone. It insisted on being written. Nothing to do when the muse makes demands – however clumsy she may feel, the poet must answer…n
The Final Word
I. The Banishment
Fear, be gone! I curse you!
I inscribe your name on lead tablets
melt them over flame, recast your
dark foreboding into pellets
I toss into the sea. I scribble
your name on paper,
consign it to the fire,
turn you into ashes
tossed upon the wind.
You, who bedevil me
with unfounded anxiety
who plague my mind with fantasies
of imminent disaster, the dire
consequence of paths not taken —
Make tracks! Take off!
I banish you.
II. The Departure
Don’t be so quick to wish me gone.
Across millennia I’ve saved your kind.
Don’t blame me for the failure to discern
reality from electronic projections
of danger, violence and sex.
You are the one who moved indoors,
shutting down your senses, substituting
the adrenaline rush of physical danger
for hyped-up stimulations played out
in darkened rooms on flattened sheets of glass.
Have you forgotten you are animal,
equipped with fear to keep
your soft sweet body safe from wolves?
Don’t bother with your curse. I’m gone.
Beware the [real] jaws that bite,
the [sharpened] claws that [really] catch…