A POEM FOR WRITERS
To finally pull the plug on the word machine,
to rise back from the chair late one evening
and step back into the quiet and darkness?
The dull white lights of the control-room of
a large hydro-electric dam in Russia
a computer centre in Brighton
the bridge of a giant oil tanker in the Indian Ocean.
Subdued light that reaches every corner
with no variation, tone, or shadow.
To leave the warm desk-light's tent
and step out into the...
"I am just going outside and may be some time, Scottie"
Trains rush through the night,
across country through suburbs past factories oil refineries dumps,
the light from their windows quickly disturbing the dark fields and woods
or the railway clutter as they pass through town,
staring in at the bare rooms and kitchens
each lit with its own story that lasts for years and years.
A whole zig-zag path, and the words stumble and fidget
around what has happened.
To walk out one January morning across the Downs
a low mist on the hills and the furrows coated with frost,
the dew ponds iced up.
The cold dry air.
And the sudden excitement when a flock of partridges starts up
in front of you and whirrs off and down to the left,
skimming the freshly ploughed fields.
"O ma blessure" groan the trees
with the wounds of a multitude of small boys' penknives.
No, not that -
but the land, the musics, the books
amongst the foolish rush and scramble for vainglory,
talk or noise for its own sake, a semblance of energy
but not necessity.
Throw your cap in the air, get on your bike, and pedal off
down hill - it's a joy with no need of chatter.
Copyright Lee Harwood 1980
also by Lee Harwood: Bath Time