Poetry

Lacking time to post before my doctor’s appointment this morning (Ack. I’m getting sick.) and lacking any idea of what to say for myself anyway, I’ll post this delightful poem by Brian Patten. It captures my mood lately better than I can:


“The Minister for Exams”
1996

When I was a child I sat an exam.
The test was so simple
There was no way I could fail.
Q1. Describe the taste of the moon.

It tastes like Creation I wrote,
it has the flavour of starlight.

Q2. What colour is Love?

Love is the colour of the water a man
lost in the desert finds, I wrote.

Q3. Why do snowflakes melt?

I wrote, they melt because they fall
onto the warm tongue of God.

There were other questions.
They were as simple.

I described the grief of Adam when he was expelled from Eden.
I wrote down the exact weight of an elephant’s dream.

Yet today, many years later,
For my living I sweep the streets
or clean out the toilets of the fat hotels.

Why? Because I constantly failed my exams.
Why? Well, let me set a test.

Q1. How large is a child’s imagination?
Q2. How shallow is the soul of the Minister for Exams?

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