Song of the October Wind
A mighty air-sea, fierce and very clean
Was gliding in across the city.
Oxygenating gusts swept down and
Chloroformed us, in a light too bright to see by.
On pavements - china and milk pages
In a good book, freshly iced by the printing press -
October flash-floated. And you and I were moving
With alert, sane, and possessive steps. At home,
My sofa wrote her creaking, narcoleptic's Iliad
My bathroom drank the Styx (bathwater
Of the Underworld). My telephone took all its voices
And gave them to the Furies, to practise with.
While slowly - to gigantic, muddy blows of music
From a pestle and mortar - roof, floor, walls, doors,
My London, stuffed with whisky-dark hotels,
Began to pant like a great ode!
And threw, carelessly, into our veins
Information - all things we needed to know,
For which there are no words, not even thoughts.
And this was an ode shaken from a box of rats.
The first sky from October's aviary
Of bone-dry, thudding skies, joyful, free, and young,
With its wings lifted our souls, heavy as cities,
Effortlessly, We were trustworthy again.
Ritz, Savoy, Claridge's, hotls full of peacock words,
Were beaten while Boreas; and as
Electric frosts scratched the windows
Fitting in their awkward childih pane of glowing stone,
We - copied the foaming with our souls!
The same ode tore the streets inside us. And lit
Catwalks, sofas, taxis in that city with a light
So bright, even the blind could see by it.
Rosemary Tonks's Other Poems
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