52 Poems: Week 25 Michael Ondaatje

Many of Ondaatje's lines haunt me. There are those graphs from The English Patient about the smell of dog paws and the lines about truth from Running in the Family... but here is a poem which I think might inspire a call of words tonight.

(If you want to read the quotes, here is a link to them on my Goodreads page).

Speaking To You (From Rock Bottom)

Michael Ondaatje

Speaking to you
this hour
these days when
I have lost the feather of poetry
and the rains
of separation
surround us tock
tock like Go tablets

Everyone has learned
to move carefully

'Dancing' 'laughing' 'bad taste'
is a memory
a tableau behind trees of law

In the midst of love for you
my wife's suffering
anger in every direction
and the children wise
as tough shrubs
but they are not tough
--so I fear
how anything can grow from this

all the wise blood
poured from little cuts
down into the sink

this hour it is not
your body I want
but your quiet company

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