Sunday, September 03, 2006

When I Was a Child I Believed in Magic Toadstools

My head is full
of Janet's* poems,

my paper is filling with red ink
and goldfinch eyes,

and the guy in the pub still sits
in his corner
on his synthetic tiger fur stool
bought especially for him,
since he's always there.

Like a toad he sits
and guzzles Speights,
in a timely fashion,
with genteel finger.

If you talk to him
he'll tell you your fortune,
and the dark places of your heart -
according to him -
embowelled in his wallow of Speights.

But I am in the unblinking
goldfinch eye, and traced
through these red scratchings on paper
are my heart's places,

impervious to any subtle residue of magic
toadstools may have.

*Janet Frame: New Zealand poet

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