'Broken and unbroken people'
'The Policeman Still Has Two' is part of Richard's ongoing Eyelight blog project, which mixes visual art with verse and prose, and it's also featured in the forthcoming (if the printers at Massey ever get their act together) 'War' issue of brief (check out a sneak preview here). I admire the way that Richard's poem simplifies its vocabulary and sentence construction to communicate the child-like disorientation and incomprehension we often feel in the aftermath of a tragic event.
The Policeman Still Has Two
In the place of Justice, at the Court.
I sit among dark, strange, beings.
Policemen, unmenacing, brush past.
Lean lawyers, men in suits, chat
With savages. Street girls smoke
And laugh. A fat, sad man is fined.
A transvestite titters. Black jackets suits ties.
Broken and unbroken people.
The Judge hardly glances
At a boy, nervily shifting in the dock;
He has only one eye. What does it see?
A dark woman, as elegant
As a queen, sobs from an interview room:
I hear: “Both of you have, the...guilt/
The grief...” Or was it "burden"? A lady in
uniform walks past. I wait.
My son has one eye.
Lawyers from behind their ties, explain.
My son has one eye. .
The dark night has gone.
The men who
have been destroyed by those they destroy
Are kept for wicked Ogres
In their sneering woo wah wooh wah
Waspy cars. They club the broken hits
Of our land to bloody lumps,
In their daily night bashings. Like
weeders in a jungle, they are ten feet tall
And they are green
And they spit death blue
And their great, bulging, blindingly
Yellow eyes burn merciless and blind.
My boy has one eye. One!
The other one was burst…
He had run outside and cried
That a big in him had died.
The eye, infinitely aware, was all life long
In its marvellous/ Billion step creation/ Billion step making.
After vast time unfolding
It shone in a baby’s face: it grew to manhood.
A policeman, a dutiful policemen, burst it with a baton.
The eye was as beautiful as every eye. My boy, my green
And gentle boy — has only one eye.
Two two two — one two one two one two — blue green blue green
Blue blue blue... Cops, courts, people, batons, judges.
Batons - love, hate - eyes eyes eyes. Victor cried for help -
They smashed away his eye. Why?
All I know is a ten foot two-eyed Ogre burst his eye.