Tag Archives: Complacency

In Bedfordshire

In Bedfordshire
and there’s gun fire from the tree line.
Single rifle shots, one and then two.

We are in the country of the country.
At a manor house as though belonging
when in truth we are merely renting
this experience of ourselves
these few days in the gentle classes
which involves shooting things
and sherry also and a gardener
who is working here with a flat flint face
looking through the window
without seeing us at all
as we eat our roasted stone-fruit
croissants and sausages
made from herbed boar
the delicate and the brutal combined.

The walls here are high
and there are arrow-slit windows
high up in the bricks
glazed shut now
but with the threat of blood
the peasants pierced.

Lawns are in every direction
croquet and crushed stones
elm benches the better to make you
sit up straight.

Today Scotland voted to stay
under the yoke and those from there
who are wealthy enough to live here instead
will sleep safe in their certainty.



Lunch in India


In April was the jackal born,
in June the rain-fed rivers swelled:
“Never in all my life,” said he,
“have I so great a flood beheld.”

Goodyear is in India.
Historic Bucks County,
Lahaska, Pennsylvania.
Eating a good lunch of Balti Kebab.

Listening to the tabla
and the sitar woven deeply
as they always seem to be
in their musical marriage.

Not working
in a conventional setting
somehow leads him out
to lunch often.

And beyond the food and people
he also likes to visit
places other than America
for an hour.

Yesterday was Japanese
Ota-Ya, today Cross Culture
a Sikh establishment with many turbans
and very red chairs.

He is cheering up, eating
his young slaughtered sheep,
and his mouth burns with cayenne
not guilt, although that will come later.

It is precisely one o’clock
in the year two thousand
and mistakenly he believes
all that is hard has been left behind.

Many years afterwards in the now of it
he will read his notes from that day
and be grateful how little foresight
any of us is allowed to possess.

He has a coffee and leaves
a generous tip. All is well,
as it will often seem to be
just before the point tips.

In front of him lies a suburban plague
some of his own making
some simply because of life
dressed up instead as fate.

A decade will pass before
he opens this notebook again,
but no longer will he lunch out
with eyes so barely open.