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Three poems.


The Thought of Fun

THE CHILDREN ARE not doing what we say. There is looking for them, calling and messaging. Sometimes a child hides like a flea, tiny as Tunga Penetrans, sometimes, like Dreadnoughtus the dinosaur, they overwhelm parental bodies. Ten, nine, eight, I’m coming to find you. ‘The idea of a comparison of words or mental representations with objects is a senseless one.’ So says philosopher du jour, Hilary Putnam. That’s hide and seek, secured.

Our world is ‘nothing but one great Machine’, David Hume would retort, were he driving today down an M road to a Business of Play Area. In the car park, there is buying, polishing and taking photographs of the characteristic lean against the driver’s door. But not too near the road. Cars, the world’s lesser machines could be more highly coloured yet softer on impact. Besides, I can’t beat about the bushes here for ever.

Is seriousness a growing problem for outdoor bowls? There is studying opponents, calling to officials and denigrating bagger totals. St John in Revelation warns that those elders who survive a plague do not repent of their fornications. Where are you? Nor, indeed, of other more communally-based stress-solvers. Where are you?

Consider: there is redaction, smoothing over or even erasure. Are you under here? As Susan B Anthony joked in an era of misogyny, if a woman cannot vote due to being represented in law by her husband/father/etc, then her husband/etc should hang for the murder she will no doubt be driven to commit. ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Could someone help me uncover my child?

Yet the thoughtful remind us that, for the human being, mortality is one hundred percent. There is spending, being spent and having been spent. Hold it, right now. And then again, Søren Kierkegaard explained, thrillingly, explanations engender doubt. Did somebody say don’t overthink it?  ?  Let’s just go for, and while here never let go of, the epiphany. Hold my hand till we get to the gate. Don’t ever hide again. Not funny. Good hiding, good hiding, my beaten heart.

What You Have To Do

I WAS HALF-listening to the night
sounds of cars – on crises,
on essential works –

reader, they slid me out of fear
to my unmendable car
(so says the garage,

our church of free movement. It goes.)
You won’t see my car, you’ll see
your hands open your

own driver’s door, your aches sinking
to your stains, as you read.
An owl will taunt us:

who who who who who is driving
away at three a.m?
Driving toward what

the work is. You’ve been a poet
in this poem, with me
till the final line.

Running Down the Dead

OK. YOU MUST be gone. Begone.

But I saw a crowd of weird birds
fall to the ground. Ground
down by ghosts, I turned away. Away
they went. I turned back. None. No one
can convince me that you’re not, not
while those birds might bring their flock back.

Find out, confined out
in as much always as there is there,
if there is no there there
no no end.

Then make your comeback. Come back here.

Claire Crowther’s current collection Solar Cruise (Shearsman) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Spring 2020. She is currently working on a collection of her critical prose, edited by Carrie Etter, for Shearsman.

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