Will Eaves

 

The Lord Is Listenin’ To Ya, Hallelujah

 

Gary Valente’s on trombone and you’re mixing acrylics.

The sound is that of a lone magisterial goose laying

about itself in cycles of wide-eyed, tearless grief.

The other farm animals stare at it in dismay.

‘What’s got into her, apart from extra corn?’

 

Lately, people—I say ‘people’, I mean my brother

and sister—have been telling me I should stop writing

about my childhood and move on. Where to,

they do not reveal. And how can I,

when it follows me down Sydney Road,

 

in even these blue nethermost latitudes,

flapping its weird relic wings in despair

at all my pointless running about?

I could try, I could for once just try

listening, as I do battle with phone companies,

 

internet cafés and robot ladies grateful for my abuse,

to what the music is saying, however painfully

long the passage of recall might be on the way

back to mornings of hopeless pleasure in a room

filled with light and colour, your paintings

 

streaming on every side like pennants on a standard

or the tricolor plastic strips at Dewhurst the Butcher.

Perhaps that’s why the goose is so frightened:

though even in the grip of the most plausible terror,

knowing full well what goes on behind the curtain

 

where the rosy-cheeked lads let fall their arms,

the noise she makes tells a different story.

Instead of trying to sound beautiful, let it blow.

Live as though you were already dead and free

to wander the brazen rooms of this honking solo

 

which lifts off like a helium-filled Titanic

and floats effortlessly upwards laden with coughs,

barks, distant alarms, cheers, dropped glasses, sleep apnoea,

locked-ward chatter from the audience and every other song

of inadvertent praise you can imagine hailing from the top deck.

 

 

 

Containers

 

Everything I own floats on the sea,

                                                     away from me.


Everything I want no longer

                                          seems desirable, or necessary.


The world’s warm-grey, soft lid, the clouds

                                                                 pleated and patched

                                                                                                 to fit


as a bee fits its foxglove,

                                      perfectly.

 

                                                The bee
 

is like the lady of means overwhelmed by her enormous

                                                                                    bonnet


                     and oblivious withal in the high,

                                                                      high fashion


                                   of the Regency.

 

 

 

The Guy from Tech Support

 

The thin young man with unkempt beard and matted hair,

in white shirt and blue polyester tie, regulation black trousers

and cheap leather shoes looks tired, as if born behind glass.

 

The red logo on the tie announces Games. A badge says Luke.

He does not seem very playful, though Luke Games is a name

a writer of hard-man bull might brush down for the studios.

 

Sunlight, well-meaning but exasperated, has stopped calling

on his skin and calls on others in approval-seeking expiation.

They made love once, on a raised bed of prawn-sore pinks,

 

when he was much too young, and for all her Spring sass

she breathes zephyrs of relief she didn’t do more damage.

Off she goes in her accumulating puffa. Luke’s here to help,

 

if only she knew to ask. When the soft late On sign fails,

he sees: people looking for instruction, rock pools at capacity,

former lions of the local Rotary association turning over tins.