|Clive Hicks-Jenkins |
for The Foliate Head
Now and then a poem flies out into the world that feels strange but wholly understood... And then as time passes, it becomes stranger to the writer, until it seems almost not hers.
Here's a little poem from The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012) that feels so to me. It was originally published in that magical 'zine, The Flea, created by the late Paul Stevens. I miss meeting Paul online, and I also grieve the thought that never again will he make us such a wondrous, unexpected, and altogether odd place for poetry as The Flea, inspired by a love of the metaphysicals: "Mark but this flea, and mark in this . . ."
Now I wonder if this poem is not a distant child of Frost's "Acquainted with the Night": "O luminary clock against the sky / Proclaimed the time was neither wrong or right."
Clock of the Moon and Stars
O clock of the silver moon and stars, stop
This incessant trickling and spilling in chimes;
Hasn’t there been enough of singing—choir
At its struggles, Magnum Mysterium
Going backward and forward and inside out,
The women trilling over mops as the doors
Fly open and the suds freeze on the snow,
The poor child with its shrill demanding song
That called the spirits to take possession?
Hasn’t there been enough of dropping
The quarter hours and the whole in chimes?
You harry me, you remind me of much,
O clock of the moon and stars: the silvery
Mysteries and the past and the damned child
Hurtled to hell in a carriage of flame.
* * *
More on recent books:
- Thaliad's epic adventure in verse here and here (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012)
- The Foliate Head's collection of poems from Stanza Press (UK) here
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage from Mercer University Press (ForeWord 2013 finalist, The Ferrol Sams Award, 2012) here
- The Throne of Psyche, collection of poetry from Mercer, 2011, here
- Excerpts at Scribd