MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE
MUSIC DOWN THE MORGUE
I sometimes see the world through stand-in eyes
required to face the fact of newly broken parts,
immobilised by indulgent recklessness;
yet disrespectful of the powers that be
that would rule us all and all our hearts
as we stumble, artless, through our useful years,
transient as a species, our lives full of cares.
Cut to the chase: I broke an ankle, a fortnight ago,
a bone located way below the focal point
of ordinary man’s quite ordinary sight, such that
little attention is paid to it beyond the town morgue,
where nothing and no-one passes unseen
by deep-frozen denizens literally laid low
or, in alphabetical order, in lateral rows –
that is, side by side with the related feet and toes
of many local worthies whose ground floor appendages
must (and I muse) have been enthusiastically tapped
by one intent on inventing some bodypart percussion –
perhaps a new xylophone where six wooden sticks
beat an intricate mix, plaited and scored on old bones galore –
that might add some kick to our musical store.
But so flimsy that image of bridges to fame – a rope or
narrow plank – that sways as the gods stop by for a while to
smile and (mildly) make fun of we funny old things that get
confused with the news and tied up in knots, most
of our own making. Many drive miles to a beautiful bay,
park by the toilets, then picnic, then home – nothing gained,
nothing learned; no swap of bay-blue forget-me-nots.
The gods and goddesses chuckle and cluck: they have
observed the absurd, the surround sound of men
who might have absorbed their manifestation, which
I’m sure would count in the final reckoning, in the written CV.
Yet they let the gods be, undisturbed and unused,
so near yet so sadly far. Ah well, unlike deities, they will come
and they will go, lambs to their sole god’s beckoning.
I look at my disgraced nethermost joint and it
reminds me of walks where I have plodded instead.
I shiver in case it helps; it does, as a pup yelps as it faces the fox.
I recall the morgue, the fine new xylophone, then plummet in panic,
realising that at either end one just slides right over, into the abyss.