Saturday, July 10, 2010

Starting Right



Starting Right


A courtyard, staircases you could almost
leap down landing to landing,
walkways, galleries, acoustic blast

as of a theatre – the bricks are handing
on the Elizabethans’ bloody past,
ills the state is still mishandling.

Down from the Bermuda triangle, one standing
holding the bicycle, the other sits on the last
step to the courtyard & does some quick rebranding:

white socks and baseball cap, and then the jeans
need something doing to them. Steadfast
and steady where the cross bar leans

his young mate waits, already dressed.
One black, one white – they have this understanding:
The right trouser’s rolled to the knee. Neat-pressed

the other is left long, an act of will.
The tall black boy is through and will ride fast,
stand on the pedals with handling skill.

His tandem sinewy, unharassed
gets neatly in the saddle – notwithstanding
us in the gods, their swagger isn’t sussed.
They slip from here, through speed and light expanding.


***

6 comments:

Dave King said...

Cleverly done, it took me a few readings to get there - well, I think I have now, but maybe not! For me, the second stanza is inspirational. I shall come back for another read.

Lucas said...

Dave,
Thanks for your comment. Much appreciate it. I tried to distinguish between the two characters, and am conscious it does take make than one reading...

Plutarch said...

Perhaps you should publish Joyce's simple but helpful drawing to complement the poem. It would not harm the poem's undoubted richness. "Down from the Bermuda triangle.." is powerfully ambiguous. The last line ties it all up in yet another dimension

Lucas said...

Joe,
Thanks for your comment, most helpful!

Lucy said...

These boys undergo a kind of apotheosis:

'They slip from here, through speed and light expanding.'

I feel I should recognise the form but don't quite...

Lucas said...

Lucy,
Thanks for you kind comment.
You are quite right not to recognise the form. I was uncertain which form I was using at first, and then improvised....