Posts Tagged ‘Leo Donnelly’

A fascinating poem by Leo Donnelly

August 20, 2015

When I went to an open mic session called ‘Fenspeak’ in Ely last Wednesday I heard this fantastic poem by Leo Donnelly. He very kindly agreed to let me post it here for you to enjoy. He recited the poem from memory!

(to be read aloud)

Poetry evades me in the same way

The stars dance from the grasps my arms fumble from a cliff face.

The chance of me imparting poetry upon a prim page

Is like

The spliff stains in my ribcage maintaining my body to old age;

Maybe my soul’s sustained.

And it might be the green that grows it,

But the tocking-ticks of age are telling my body I’ve already blown it.

And the game remains the same

And I’ll stay to play I know it,

But I wish these days ablaze man,

I wish I was a poet.

Then no more mundane Monday mornings would I wake to;

From the dawning boredom of the day I could escape to pave my way to

Pastures green, and clean, and blue;

Pastures past and pastures true.

But (alas!)

I work hard at nothing and thus I learn nothing new,

But,

The sweat that squeezes through my pores,

Pours without pausing,

As my ambition, steadily tethered, is applauded.

But it’s scared, teeth bared, and it’s pawing, clawing at the door,

Beneath which,

A line of leaking light is sweeping through into the room,

Bewitching the world with its dance like you

All

Meter and

Grace and

Meaning,

Like feet that run, racing rhyme, through the space in-between beats

That pound upon the furrowed face of the ceiling

Set in place to separate us from Dust.

And it does keep us people all properly in place, disgraced

To the point our hearts break and we weep with restraint,

Ill-equipped to keep pace with the ways our forefathers lay before us,

Now they treat us as polished when truly we’re porous,

And if we raise our complaints they’ll politely ignore us,

And when our rage is ablaze they’ll douse it with boredom

And tour us

Across a blood soaked sea-less beach,

Scuttling over scalding sand that we struggle beneath,

Left suffocating and drowning on a ceaseless, breezeless heat, each

Spluttering cough carving deep scars that creep like stark veins through darkness

Across our shrieking tongues and teeth;

Bleeding gums shred to ribbons repeating the lies that they preach,

Catalysed by distain and pain-stained disbelief,

Whilst

(discretely)

Our minds seek for firm ground,

With firm founded beliefs,

Where amber leaves crunch beneath trusting, thrusting feet;

Where the earthy purchase provided is enough to propel a guided mind skyward,

Towards truth,

No more defined by society’s confinements;

Where violence is despised and not disguised by the violent;

Where the air will set fire to our blindfolds and we’ll find ourselves blinded

By the world,

As it unfolds

Before us.

Enter ending.

Enter chorus.

Enter pumice stone,

Patient and porous.

But alas,

Poetry evades me in the same way

The stars dance from the grasps my arms fumble from a cliff-face.

The chance of me imparting poetry upon a prim page is like

The spliff-stains in my ribcage maintaining my body to old age;

Maybe my soul’s sustained,

And it might be the green that grows it,

But the tocking ticks of time are telling my body I’ve already blown it.

But the game remains the same,

And I’ll stay to play I know it,

But I wish these days ablaze

Man,

I wish

I was Leo Donnelly

A poet.

Leo Donnelly.