Monotonous feet echo in clattering silence,
wind gorges down narrow escapes,
a can rattles towards its end,
trees rustle their dew-heavy leaves.
Dark is cast and clouds spread wide
(while a cat, somewhere screams – like a child).
The first drops are washed away
drains are soon filled by the cascades.
The most important thing is to have a clear vision
said a blind man No said a short woman the most important thing is to aspire to be higher I disagree said a disagreeably large lad – if you are thin you are happy
Or if one can hear,
signed the deaf. How can you not elect freedom of movement,
a prisoner whispered And freedom of thought,
wrote a secretive girl
(from an undisclosed address)
On the other hand, enquired a gay guy – acceptance is highly important to happiness, Or maybe ones individuality brings joy
nodded a follower from amongst a crowd! Happiness beams from the pages of books
contested an illiterate sexagenarian. From the love of cherished offspring –
sang a barren couple From the voices of angels,
growled coarse throated smokers. No! Please understand that happiness belongs to Men!
Gushed a feminist. To the well-endowed whispered a small fellow. Surely the happiness you seek lies in the warmth of community –
hollered the lonely crofter
from an isolated mountain croft…
There’s always a reason,
a question or tease
to ignite every hour as it flies…
Happy hum – bright smile,
Knowing your peace through what may turn out lies.
I have this jewel of common good
A proof of social capital
Where every sick, poor, lost, doomed, soul
Is treated as individual
A simple pearl of light done right
Global beacon of the practical
This human rumour, shared response
My catch-all of public collateral
Has gifted our forebears the wealth of health
And pledged my heirs
Theirs in perpetual.
My gem of preciousness nearly unique
Endows a nation; achievable
Lately the state, for private account,
Seeks to plunder this bounty – sly and piecemeal
I feel their reach,
Their devious claw
The foetid breath,
And fear a loss so great and deep.
I doubt these Devils
Young children unsure of the benefits of sun-lamps, Bristol health centre, July 1948.
Originally posted, then deleted, then posted again…