Rage for Order

Somwhere beyond the scorched gable end and the burt-out buses
there is a poet indulging his wretched rage for order --
or not as the case may be; for his
is a dying art,
an eddy of semantic scruples
in an unstructurable sea.

He is far from his people,
and the fitful glare of his high window is as
nothing to our scattered glass.

His posture is grandiloquent and depreciating, like this,
his diest ashes,
hhis talk of justice and his mother
the rhetorical device or an etiolated empereor--
Nero if you prefer, no mother there.

". . .And this in the face of love,
death, and the wages of the poor . . ."

If he is silent, it is the silence of enforced humility;
if anxious to be heard, it is the anxiety
of a last word
when the drums start; for his is a dying art.

Now watch me as I make history, Watch as i tear down
to build up with a deseperate love,
knowing it cannot be
long now till i have need of his
desperate ironies.

Derek Mahon

The Codex
Jitter's Poem Library