Running Out of Time – National Poetry Month day 9 with Roderick Hart

Welcome to day nine of National Poetry Month.  Today I have fellow WordPress blogger, author, music lover and poet, Roderick Hart.   Check out his blog page for his wide range of interests only one of which is cats.  Enjoy!

I like poetry because it can express ideas uncommonly well.

How’s this for an expression of passivity?

 

The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine
;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach
;

 

I remember stray lines from Anglo-Saxon poetry to the twentieth century: The Wanderer, Chaucer, Marvell, Coleridge, Wallace Stevens,  Norman MacCaig. To me, writing a poem is like making an object from words.

I wrote more poems in the past than I do now, since fiction takes up most of my time.  I find the need for an underlying idea, a deep structure. If one doesn’t cross my mind, or emerge from the depths, I can’t invent it. But if I have such an idea then I can work on it.

This poem is from a series of six called Running out of Time.


RUNNING OUT OF TIME

iv

Hunger doesn’t come into it.

Bagging a brace of shuttlecock, casting a fly,

the aim of the game is always the same –

to integrate the brain, the hand, and eye.

 

 

What would a man from the mists make

of our bats and balls, our rule-books and referees;

what would he say if we stuck a microphone under his nose

as he belly-ached through his primeval trees?

 

 

I combine the skills of hand and eye

every minute of the day, just to stay alive:

fishing, fowling, keeping warm and dry  –

what integrates me is the struggle to survive.

 

 

Once in a while, a wild-fowl falls

to his shaped, highly polished stone;

when humourless salmon refuse to be tickled,

his probing hand and arm are chilled to the bone.

 

 

I stalk through shops, their shelves piled high,

thinking of him, owing my very existence to his skill:

tracking down another week’s STAR BUY,

I drag my killing out through the nearest till.

 

Roderick Hart ©2013

 

My website is www.roderickhart.net

It is still under construction.

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