You've got nice knees.
Your black shoes shine like taxis.
You are the opposite of
all farting and foulness.
Your exciting hair
is like a special moss,
on your chest are two soft medals
like pink half-crowns under your dress.
Your smell is far beyond
the perfumes at parties,
your eyes nail me
on a cross of waiting. Hard is
the way of the worshipper.
But the heart line on my hand
In your army of lovers
I am a private soldier.
Sonnet: Dolce stil novo
That woman who to me seems most a woman
I do not compare to angels--or digress on schismatic Popes--
or exalt above the terrestrial or consider a madonna.
Nor do I search in others for her lineaments,
or wish for Death to free me from desire,
or consider Love an archer; or see her as a Daphne,
fleeing the embraces of Apollo, transformed into a laurel.
I am not lost in the amorous wood of Virgil.
But although I do not rhyme or use the soft Italian,
my love is a strong love, and for a certain person.
Human beings are human; I can see a man might envy
her bath water as it envelops her completely.
That's what my love would like to do; and Petrarch
can take a running jump at himself--or (perhaps?) agree.
On Seeing a Priest - Eating Veal
(from New Statesman, 14 August 1964)
Put down that calf, thou Man of Flesh,
Put down that veal, thou Bloody man,
God's creatures are the wheels that mesh,
And He will eat you when He Can.
Unfrock thyself, thou Man of Blood,
Thou art but meat, and so are these,
And have been since before the Flood:
Go down on thy unbasted knees,
And ponder on Eternal Fires
And battered fish and slaughtered lambs.
Restrain thy animal desires,
Be cured - or God will smoke thy hams!
Dream of a Slave
I want to be carried, heavily sedated,
into a waiting aircraft.
I want to collapse from nervous exhaustion.
I want to bow my head like Samson
and bring down with me
the top ten advertising agencies.
I want to see the little bosses
vanish like harmless fairies.
I want the pantomime to be over,
the circus empty.
I want what is real to establish itself,
my children to prevail,
to live happy ever after
in this world that worships the preposterous.
It is better to be a scribe
than hacking at the salt mines,
heaving the building blocks.
Everybody wants to be a scribe.
But I want out. I want non-existance.
A passive dream, a future for my children.
Eve is madly in love with Hugh
And Hugh is keen on Jim.
Charles is in love with very few
And few are in love with him.
Myra sits typing notes of love
With romantic pianist's fingers.
Dick turns his eyes to the heavens above
Where Fran's divine perfume lingers.
Nicky is rolling eyes and tits
And flaunting her wiggly walk.
Everybody is thrilled to bits
By Clive's suggestive talk.
Sex suppressed will go berserk,
But it keeps us all alive.
It's a wonderful change from wives and work
And it ends at half past five.
The love we thought would never stop
now cools like a congealing chop.
The kisses that were hot as curry
are bird-pecks taken in a hurry.
The hands that held electric charges
now lie inert as four moored barges.
The feet that ran to meet a date
are running slow and running late.
The eyes that shone and seldom shut
are victims of a power cut.
The parts that then transmitted joy
are now reserved and cold and coy.
Romance, expected once to stay,
has left a note saying gone away.
Lord I am not entirely selfish
Lord I am not entirely helpish
O Lord to me be slightly lavish
O Lord be in a minor way lovish
Lord I am not completely bad-mannered
Lord I am not a crusader, mad-bannered
O Lord to me be quite well-disposed
O Lord to me be calm and composed
Lord I am not a dog downed and to-heeled
Lord I am not thick about what has been revealed
O Lord you have it in your power to hurt me
O Lord in your odd way please do not desert me