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DANCING ON AIR

We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.

Meditations In Time Of Civil War, W.B. Yeats

 

There are barricades at both ends of the street.

They have been building for a couple of days –

a skip, a burned-out pick-up, rotten timber.

Someone appears at our door at dusk or dawn,

claiming to be from one side or the other,

begging, asking, demanding contributions –

that folding chair, this old garden bench,

alcohol, books. So far only our region/district

is in turmoil, or in righteousness –

the utilities uninterrupted.

Drones are overhead. We may see ourselves,

and our predicament on the internet.

Our neighbours have gone, deserting their houses.

 

Possibly in time each faction will attempt

to commandeer our house, a salient –

the lead valley in the roof overlooks

one barricade, a side window the other.

Each night, once the little one is sleeping,

we review our long term options: surrender,

or starve. Short term we are optimists.

We read, draw, tell stories, play the piano.

 

A colony of wild bees these last few weeks

has occupied the nesting place in the eaves

starlings abandoned perhaps a decade ago.

With the little one we have studied them,

each day, dancing on air.

 

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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5 Responses
  • Clive Watkins
    March 27, 2020

    ‘More substance in our enmities/Than in our love; O honey-bees/Come build in the empty house of the stare.’ – a sombre picture, which unfortunately seems timeless.

  • Alex Cox
    March 29, 2020

    Most moving. Thank you!

  • Dave Williams
    March 30, 2020

    Bleak, stark and somehow in keeping with the current mood of much of the country. It couldn’t happen here could it, but that’s what we thought before CV? It makes you think – startlingly evocative stuff, David!

  • Alan Horne
    March 31, 2020

    This is great, David. One of the best.

  • Mary Clark
    April 6, 2020

    ‘Short term we are optimists.’ This is what people are experiencing, thinking, doing. We’re becoming something new, as though in a chrysalis we’ve made for ourselves.

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