A poem for the day – The Last Poem

Sooo… August is over, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (well, rain) is upon us, and it’s time for this guest blogger to bid you all a fond farewell. Thanks to all who read the poems and took the time to engage with them: it was good to be challenged, interrogated, confirmed, parodied; good to spark debate and set others off on their own trains of thought; and good to have the poems take a place alongside the more pressing issues of the Sluggerverse.

Some of you suggested that Slugger could handle a regular poetry thread. Well, that’s not for me to say. But I do think that poets and poetry have a contribution to make, and that restricting poems to the back corner of the review sections or the desert landscape of ‘the poetry scene’ is a mistake (for which poets are as guilty as anyone.)

And it’s worth remembering that Yeats’ great state of the nation poem, ‘September 1913’ first appeared, days after it was written, on the front page of the Irish Times, in the thick of heated commentary and reportage on the Dublin lock-out.

So I’ll sign off with this appropriately-titled piece.

The Last Poem

‘s strangled at birth
with a cable stripped
from the last ship named
at Harland & Wolff.

All that is left
of the dead Island language
is Garmoyle and Dargan.
(The spellcheck insists

on gargoyle and dragon.)
The incompetent shade
of Thomas carnduff
snarls burly doggerel

while posed in his sash
on the Linen Hall roof.
This printer’s devil
turned Rotten Prod

in an archipelago
of bankrupt shipyards
says: bite your tongue.
The Magheramorne

as good as a nod
to the land’s minor poets
and major fools.

The choice, in Belfast
as elsewhere, ‘s between
being made redundant
and downing tools.

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