Poetry Slam

Poem By Edward Lemond

By the foot of the bed,
from memory, I recite
D'Invilliers' quatrain.
“Then wear the gold hat”
leaves you flat
and you are unmoved.
“If you can bounce high”
brings a smile to your lips
and you are amused.
“Till she cry, Lover”
hits closer to home
and you sigh.

In the window the trees
are yellow and brown.
The harbour is “a blue cove
full of fish processing
and ships that never go
anywhere.” With Pound,
the one that begins
“Come, let us pity...”
all I get is a yawn and
a look of impatience.
“The rich have butlers...”
sounds so stale, so sixties.
“Dawn enters with little feet...”
arouses a distant memory
but no feeling and the fine
effect of that final line
with its image of waking
together and sharing
a “clear coolness”
barely registers.

With “Na Audiart” things
begin quickly to come undone.
Image crowds image
with no clear demarcation.
“Thy bodice laces”
rubs against the grain.
“Thy girdle's scope”
weighs heavily in the balance.
Nor do you find aught to praise
in “ivy fingers clutching...”
The objection you'd raise
is a simple one but fine:
you wish me well not ill
but given one more line
like “being bent and wrinkled”
and you will begin to wonder.

“In an Evil Time” sparks
a real anger, something sharp,
something hitherto unseen.
You can't see how “This is
the night, that was bound to come”
relates to us, to our love.
We are here, we are now,
We have the sun, the sea,
the forest ablaze with colour,
sand dunes where the piping
plover nests in the tall grass,
in the tangles of beach peas.

The bread tastes of thyme
and sage, the cheese
is a Camembert, the wine
a Côte de Rhone,
and I think it's only fair
we have another go at Hesse,
but something light this time,
like “The First Flowers.”
Perhaps it's the fragrant wine
Or the fine, moist bread
Or the luscious words
But for some reason you find
“These days so many yellow flowers
have opened their eyes into gold”
not just nice, but right
in tone and thrust.

On the sun-soaked sill
lies the last book
in my bag of surprises,
a beat-up softcover,
Williams's Immortal Poems.
“O Mistress mine, where
are you roaming? ” I read
at random, and your eyes
sparkle with delight.
“O, stay and hear...”
breeds more of the same.
But when I come upon
“Your true love's coming...”
you laugh out loud because,
according to your calculation,
that's a slight exaggeration.
“Once you did and once you
didn't, ” you're quick to remind me.
But the look in your eyes
tells me that you mean no
harm, and in my heart I rejoice
in that part of you that loves me,
as well as that part that loves
to tease me because they're both
you and you are one and the same.

In the window the trees
are gray and black.
Below the window
the harbour is the back
of a black whale
that connects
this shore
to the far shore.
And when you
draw me down
into a kiss
the words
are mine
and mine alone,
“I live for this
and this alone.”

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