Having coffee with Dylan Thomas and others

April 18th

Although I was inspired by the title of Susan G. Wooldridge’s book Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, (a copy of which I’ve now ordered) I went slightly off prompt. I’m currently reading The 20th Century in Poetry, which I highly recommend, and have reached the post-war period where poets where questioning the sanity of civilization. I then thought about sitting down round a table and having coffee with a few to discuss the meaning behind our words.

Who says the sanity inspector is sane?

Asks Dylan, as the coal black coffee from our mugs we drain.

How can we pen snow-white silent lives on our pages,

When unquestioned certainties feed our dying light rages?

In the company of lovers Judith asks,

What madness is this life beset with tasks?

As time ticks by like a waddling duck,

And death calls us to its babbling brook.

Never mitigate bloodletting,

Feel the torment in Auden’s cry.

We cannot forget, must not forget, leave no lines for regret,

Write, write and write again, till the ink in your veins runs dry.

Love, death and war, and all we can find,

Wind turbines blow incompatible narratives through our minds.

Sectarian sentences slaughter them all,

Human complicity is Kavanagh’s call.

Arresting honesty Kingsley does not lack,

His truth no needle lost in a haystack

Take a couch in his parlour and be mesmerized,

Mind-blown words shatter like glass in your eyes.

Praise not the false flowers and their fickle fruit,

But expose the lies that where fed to their roots.

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