I Bow my Head
In Autumn, Spring, or both, write the leaves that fall, bud, blossom or bloom
and children summoned after breakfast, clean plates, wash hands, to tidy up their room
meanwhile, the Vietnamese lady around the corner, making lamingtons, second to none
and the mechanic’s call to remind me, maintenance is required, if my car is still to run
and nurses who check temperatures at the side of every bed
and sideways I glance – and bow my head.
Then there’s Schubert in C Minor, carrying tension through his hands
dark, moody combinations, colours life, his death, as his last song softly lands
while other music plays, in vain, trying but it’s never quite the same
and interruptions, amendments, the Poets, who wait to hear their name
and promenades of spatial needs with a needle and a thread
while I stumble on in solitude – and bow my head.
The slowly cooking porridge and the coffee, make mine black
suffers nothing inconvenient, as if there’s a shortage out the back
the Mother’s taking knowledge and the Father’s at the lathe
risking everything while singing about the lives still left to save
in momentary thought oblivion, temporary amusements being fed
while I take my application, sign it – and bow my head.
Back to Schubert at the piano, knowing his days are running out
leans down upon his century, tries to twist if not to shout
and the lamingtons, like their maker, never out of style
brought to carers and their children, to energise their smile
and ceaseless eyes maintain a movement, just started, set to spread
while I can do nothing more – but bow my head.
And finally now, in confronting light, I bow my head
with the lamingtons all gone and with Schubert now dead
hang on tight, to the other side, ride the sacred cow
if you didn’t see me then, how is it you’ll see me now
no need to make enquiries, there’s no need to even try
I will now commence to bow my head – and quietly here just lie.