A Poem

I have decided to write a blog once a week. but because I am very lazy it may sometimes take the form of me cutting and pasting something I like or  wrote in the past.

To whit, here is a poem recommended to me by my friend – his brother, with whom he had a very difficult relationship, had died. This was the poem he read at the funeral. I find it so affecting I have learnt it by heart. If you see me do ask me to recite it – I am a terrible show off.

A Scattering 

I expect you’ve seen the footage: elephants,
finding the bones of one of their own kind
dropped by the wayside, picked clean by scavengers
and the sun, then untidily left there,
decide to do something about it.

But what, exactly? They can’t, of course,
reassemble the old elephant magnificence;
they can’t even make a tidier heap. But they can
hook up bones with their trunks and chuck them
this way and that way. So they do.

And their scattering has an air
of deliberate ritual, ancient and necessary.
Their great size, too, makes them the very
embodiment of grief, while the play of their trunks
lends sprezzatura.

Elephants puzzling out
the anagram of their own anatomy,
elephants at their abstracted lamentations –
may their spirit guide me as I place
my own sad thoughts in new, hopeful arrangements.

Christopher Reid