States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Nuages' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Ah, the ever-lyrical, even if
stared into from a cabin up above:
snowy cloud-sonata which then
recedes into softness
with its airy iceberg flocks
can be the stuff of verse or
counterpoint, say, but can’t
feed serious fiction for
the yarnspinner has to eat
the heavy middle of our sandwich
rampaging all the way from
Baghdad Prepares for Attack
to an ashtray smell or
puckered brocade on a chair.
Novels know everything
But only if they turn out any
good, solid. While that white
cumulo-nimbus plays here
an almost sturdy part in
unpeeling our transience,
at least for a poet’s paperbark.
My sweetly musical
short fuse recedes again
into the shuffled stuff of dream,
no matter what rough beast
arrives to trash our ghosts
and blow the very legs
off our indolence.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

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