|A Gift from MacNeice
Time is away
and somewhere else
biding itself, snuffling plum jam;
somewhere else, hoping to avoid notice.
Away, far enough from us for the curtains
to shift in a slow drift as I watch your face,
biding itself in a time-dream. Your breath
is soft and content in the coolness of dawn.
Your fingers, loose on the pillow are so near
I can imagine the warm blush of them
under my kiss. But I do not move.
There is time, but it is far enough away,
biding itself, until you open your eyes.
Oh, Come On, Sylvia
(a reply to Plath's 'Fever 103°')
Hers was more colourful, more elevated,
like her temperature.
Mine, a clog of green gurgle, bothers
the night and tissues strew the floor.
I do not float and just now
there is no-one I would call Darling.
Hers, she said, were pink things -- candle smoke.
I am not greatly troubled by elegance when ill.
I would just like it to be daytime.
She managed 103°. Well, she would.
101 was out-of-body enough for me. When
a mis-dial found a stranger who asked
had I thought of calling the doctor: You're him, I cried.
Dreaming, not of leopards or Isadora,
drab journeys occur, haunted by No Entry signs
mostly on the loos, or I visit some God-awful
claustrophobic hands-on techno exhibition.
Next time, I'll make a bigger fuss,
tell friends I'm a huge camellia, beautiful,
expensive, destined for the next