Another one I've never been able to find at Barnes And Noble

Brian Patten is a wonderful poet. And like John Hegley, another British Poet I’d like to read more of, I cannot find his work at any library or bookstore near me. I am inexplicably annoyed when I have to turn to Amazon to get a book I want. I don’t know why, but it seems like I and my local culture have somehow fallen short in some way. But I may have to turn to Amazon to get a Brian Patten book.

What I’ve read of his poems have been delightful:


A Blade of Grass
—————————

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.

And I always give two if I can. As if to show you that the first one wasn’t just a fluke:


Doubt Shall Not Make An End Of You
——————————————————-

Doubt shall not make an end of you
nor closing eyes lose your shape
when the retina’s light fades;
what dawns inside me will light you.

In our public lives we may confine ourselves to darkness,
our nowhere mouths explain away our dreams,
but alone we are incorruptible creatures,
our light sunk too deep to be of any social use
we wander free and perfect without moving

or love on hard carpets
where couples revolving round the room
end found at its centre.

Our love like a whale from its deepest ocean rises –

I offer this and a multitude of images
from party rooms to oceans,
the single star and all its reflections;
being completed we include all
and nothing wishes to escape us.

Beneath my hand your hardening breast agrees
to sing of its own nature,
then from a place without names our origin comes shivering.

Feel nothing separate then,
we have translated each other into light
and into love go streaming.

Nice to start the week with a spot of poetry, eh?

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