A heavy plop of rain blotted my copybook.
You’ve got to get under the skin of things.
“Be silent!” she said, “and wet the tea!
No need of guitar or fiddle here.
The wind in the grass makes more music
than you could ever get by paying for it.
Keep away from the apple tree though.
There’s midges”.

And in the back of the back orchard
a vast orchestra of trees,
bombard and bassoon and scratching things
and the euphonium of the morning’s cold breath,
drowns out any memory of our heavy breathing in the night.
“Heavy breeding more likely!” said Eve.
“It makes you wonder
who is the basilisk and who the toad?”
“They are brothers in faith,” I said.
“All reptiles are related by sex or by marriage.
Be careful what you say to one.
The others will all know about it before you can say snake in the grass.

There was a man, full of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
On the third morning I saw him standing among the dandelions
working an astrolabe as though somebody was lost.
I do not think it was me.
When Eve went to give the donkeys their breakfast she looked him right in the eye
and a foxglove bust up out of his trousers and nearly gave her a heart attack.
Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, said the God.

My heart is attacked with velvet gloves.
Dead man’s bells and a high pitched laugh like a tintinnabulum
spoils my silence.
There is a man with bloody fingers in the meadow.
Just so you know it’s not just you that has visions.

Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, said the God.
It was a test. He didn’t really mean it.
It was a koan. “Go on!” she said, taking a bite in the night.
“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of scrumpy-pumpy in the Garden.
“Which part of Know don’t you understand.?” said the God.
“Wonk” I replied.
I’m dyslexic when confronted by authority.


Mike Absalom

poet2Mike Absalom, an Irish poet, painter and printmaker, was born in Devon in 1940. His mother was Irish. His father was Welsh. Educated in Quebec, Sweden, Iran and England, he majored in Oriental Studies (Arabic and Farsi) at Oxford and Gothenburg Universities before embarking on a career as a singer/songwriter during the 1960s and 70s. From 1980 to 2000 he lectured on satire, using his own verse as a template and worked as a harpist, fiddler, children’s entertainer and puppeteer across Canada and in the USA and South America. He returned to Ireland in 2002 to paint and write poetry. (www.mikeabsalom.com)