Thursday, 12 March 2015

Toys in the Window

Today’s poem was written in 1981, but it was not until the 1990’s that I began submitting poems for publication.  At the time, I was mid-recovery from a severe nervous breakdown s few years earlier. Writing helped considerably towards an initial if fragile recovery that eventually saw me looking for (and finding) a job some18 months later. 

I would like to think I am more optimistic and a shade less cynical about life and society now, but…

Well, we all know what thought did…


At a window on my life I gaze,
close my ears to the weary windings
of clockwork days, try to imagine
how it might be should these stiff-neck
streets ever cease their turning me
to what I am - part of this global sham
of human boast, comprising toy folk
for the most if a few taking  heart still,
tugging at the sleeve as a child will,
ever anxious to leave the plastic places,
and cartoon faces undermining a flair
for freedom on see-saw, swings, among
other things we forget soon enough
while struggling for reasons unknown
to keep some stubborn noon design
intact; part of the same act invariably
put on for each day’s passing us by,
sure to earn a slow clapping in the head
at bedtime from other toys in the hands 
of toymakers aspiring to coax cash mules
to the world’s water holes

Copyright R. N. Taber 2000; 2015

[Note: An earlier version of this poem was first published in a Poetry Today (Forward Press) anthology, Looking through the Mirror of Life (2000) and subsequently in Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

No comments :