Friday, 31 October 2008

A Poem by Phil Crick

This poem is quoted from Treble Poets 3 Chatto & Windus 1977.

Quiberon by Phil Crick

"A ten-ton man
in a suit of stone
dozes face down
on the edge of France.

His green jaws nudge
the immaculate beach
and the low waves lance
a rift in his bone.

All ropes unreel
in his waterlogged heart.
He sways on his bed.
His vertebrae moan.

And he floats a long cry
down through the sand
that even the stars
and the quasars own.

Its echo shatters
the sky off Belle-Ile.
At sunset, too,
sea-owls murmur."

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Night Exercise

"About Phil Crick
Philip Crick (1918-1992) was born in the Isle of Wight and grew up in Ramsgate and Broadstairs, Kent. He served in the army in World War Two, first as a Second Lieutenant, and later as a Captain in the Intelligence Corps with the British Rhine Army. After demobilisation, he trained as a teacher and worked in various primary schools and colleges of higher education. He ended his teaching career as a Senior Lecturer at the Garnett College of Education in London.
From the early 1950s until the early 1990s, his poems appeared regularly in a large number of British and American magazines, along with critical essays and reviews of films and books, and articles on aesthetics. His essay on the work of Gustaf Sobin, later published by Shearsman as a slim chapbook, was the first extended assessment of Sobin's poetry." - quoted from the Shearsman website

Night Exercise

Desk of strange juxtapositions, a typewriter
next to a set of teeth cast in plaster
a wind harp, a Larkin; his face was fine-lined
with the ravages of emotional time,
miscreant against the linear spectrum,
poet rated for searching mind,
the ear and its nuances.
In Kingston-Upon-Thames
once in the night, above the cosmic hum,
he heard a distant faint voice crying –
or was it Jill who heard it first?
Help, help…. again, Help. Genuine or games,
madman or victim of a crime? Trying
to work out where, they went out bent on tracing
walking towards it, stopping…. listening….pacing.

Pacing through streets, they heard the voice get louder
while all around suburban households slept –
he told this story as a true reflector
of life’s strangeness and atmospheres, adept
at leaving out – not shouting,
where others might have, of good actions or
deeds. It was what they discovered, came to
there at the gates of Richmond Park –
that the story captured eerily:
in the Moon’s shadow, tied by the feet, suspended,
a frightened human plumb line they cut free,
these rescuers in the dark;
their foray ended
with folded penknife, human decency.