After T.S. Eliot
Weaving sunlight in one’s hair
Is not easy, uncle Thomas,
As you should have known best of all,
As I had to learn overall.
The days are grey and my energy saps
Sunlight I can no longer produce
And it’s all for nothing, all for no good.
I wish you had told me before.
And to tell me you tried, I grant you that,
My ears inattentive, or biased, or sad.
It’s always the same, we are ready too late
When the message arrives we’re already wise.
The slug I squished, the bird I ignored,
The cubs I let go by turning my back,
These are the creatures demanding our audience,
Not us – our perception is skewed.
Skewed by daydreaming of possible worlds
Where life is familiar and eery or out of all sense.
A bad poem. A failed day.
Tomorrow you’ll try again.
There is no energy, no vision in my words
The energy was sapped, before your call.
I wish it’d come before, but even then,
You know I’d have been dumb, numb, dull.
Uncle Thomas, remember the garden
Where you sowed roses for your wife?
Remember the statue towering above you,
Casting a shadow you’d always resent?
I know we can no longer return to that garden,
All the things you made are for one visit only,
Yet I keep you in my mind, wherever I feel lonely
And it lifts me up, although it traps me elsewhere.
Uncle Thomas, the garden is closed now,
They put a toll at the entrance and no one would pay.
The roses you planted are of no use now,
I hope your wife saw them even just once.
It was your rose garden, and yours only,
And yet we were all invited to peek in,
Was it for pride that you stirred up our jealousy?
We have no garden, no roses, no mate.