Barbed Wire is a Language

by | Mar 31, 2011 | Poetry | 0 comments

Barbed wire is the Esperanto of repulsion:
A written language of jags and scribble.
It is a ribbon of the Underworld,
An Ariadne’s cord, leading
Through war’s wreckage, its hovels
And palaces.

Its songs, its hum
Stalk in gloomy triumph through hospital corridors,
Orphanages, special schools.
They breed and populate in second hand bookshops.

But barbed wire itself is tonsured, naked.
Its arguments are ascetic, saintly.

It finds virtue in uniform,
A holiness in rust and rain
On aerodrome perimeters
And battle fronts.

It despises chatter.
It regards as effete
All soft modernity: especially,
The smooth-faced Internet connection
In the pink office that looks down upon the clouds
Through Veuve Clicquot.

Barbed wire holds women, men and clouds in check.
It shreds them-and landscapes-if they try
To kiss like Renoir nudes or dream
Like Turner sunsets.

It is an artist in its own way,
A Pierre Faberge, making
The little barbed eggs of the future.

Here comes trouble.


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