When the morning’s rays are slanting through the kitchen windows, it’s time for mathematics.
Once upon a cereal box, I read of the analytical
and inestimable Doctor Petal, who was confounded
by the nature of free will, and chose to coalesce
the time stream to make the future
as irrevocable as the past.
When the rain fell sizzling down, damp with lightning,
she observed the protozoa in each drop,
waiting to reach the underworld
to complete the polygon of life.
In later aeons, some evolved to birds
with diamond beaks that drilled
eight miles deep…
Enough. Speak boldly of the here-and-now.
Only that, and nothing more.
Here, the angle of the morning’s rays
reminds me of the earth’s rotation,
our cosy framework of coordinates
beneath the distant swarming stars.
Et tu, tempus? Are you irredeemable,
viewed from far above? Or has every
moment led to now, their lesson:
Breakfast with you is no different to dining
with a toaster in the company of a tea towel.
Last night nocturnal otherness descended.
I wandered over concrete slopes where window cleaners
sprayed blue mist through glass-less frames
to infuse unwary sleepers, and a stranger
in the gas light clarified existence:
five fraught words I don’t recall.
No more excuses. There will be other mornings,
but none will be like this one.
Tell me then yourself, about this particular morning,
and I will keep a faithful record on the cereal box,
to read aloud and please you with, tomorrow.
“Burnt Norton I,” TS Eliot in “Later Poems 1925-1935,” Faber and Faber, 1941. Here is an extract:
Go, go, go said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.