In Finsbury Circus

From David Kessel’s 1989 collection The Ivy, collected poems 1970 – 89.

In Finsbury Circus

This tree can teach me a lot if I let it
But am I ripe for it?
I am callow and cold-hearted and confused
but ripe for a gentle awakening
There is death all around – walking,
discordant, fearful death.
The tree has bargained its frail, beautiful leaves
with our death dealing,
the friendly sparrow, its song with our hard hearts;
a drunk, his wise, telling talk with shillings and pence.
What they teach me I burn against this human winter.
The deadly demanding director has rendered his blood
for a strange imperial glory.
The tree and the drunk are breathing deply.
What do we need besides murder and victory!
A Cockney cleaner moves home eastwards
into the bright slums of humanity.

David Kessel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.