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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Two poems for 2015


 

2015

Wring in the year of the sheep
who nibble now
on all the young grasses
greened by the newly dead
from the year of the horse,
disease and war digested
an apocalypse of climate
deluging the fields
for the quiet of ewes,
a pacific time
while the cauldron bubbles
while the plans are laid
by generals, prime ministers and presidents
to once again slaughter sheep
the powerless in political pens
will obey.
 


Katherine L. Gordon
New Year’s Day, 2015.


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2,015 DISCRETE PORTIONS

I placed the potato on my plate
and cut it into 2,015 discrete
portions. This took me nearly
six hours. A neighbour peering
through my window yelled
something at me but I only
saw his mouth move. The potato
is not a metaphor. The number
2,015 was selected randomly.
Meanwhile — when you’re my
age, meanwhiles are important
because they mean two things
can happen at once, crucial
when time is running out —
meanwhile, on my front lawn
something had appeared:
small and orange and batted
about by the unforgiving wind.
Above, the white blob of sky
convulsed and birds sailed out.
I sent a teetering robot to prod
at the orange thing, examine
it under a microscope, subject it
to various intelligence
tests. I thought at first it was
the fist of a plastic soldier
I’d played with as a child,
but it turned out to be
one two-thousand-and-
fifteenth of a potato. The potato
was sweet. The plate was made
of tin. The neighbour at my
window was made of cardboard.
I was made of regrets, sneezes and
diminishing possibilities. Laurie will
tell me this is depressing, I
shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
Meanwhile, on the television,
which is made of a rectangle,
a black-and-white woman
handed a violin to a child in
a ghetto in Poland. The wind
subsided and snow began to
zigzag from the sky. Each flake
had several choices to make.

 

 
STUART ROSS

1 January 2015

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