Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Poem Like a Grenade. - John Haines (b.1924)



It is made to be rolled down
a flight of stairs,
placed under a guilty hat,
or casually dropped into a basket
among the desks
of the wrongheaded statesmen.

As it tumbles on the carpeted stairs
or settles quietly
in its wire-wicker nest,
it begins to unfold,
a ragged flower whose raw petals
burn and scar...

Its wastepaper soil catches fire,
the hat is blown from its hook.
Five or six faces are suddenly,
permanently changed...

There will be many poems written
in the shape of a grenade-
one hard piece of metal flying off
might even topple a government.

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