Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

for Harold Pinter

Tell of the sad derangement of the mind.
The wheat is being harvested. The sun
Shines on the bales, unclouded, unconfined.
Work as brisk as hard is being done.
Cider’s drunk at night. Documents are signed.
The bedrooms warm. No licences on fun.
Tell of the sad derangement of the mind.
Tell of the sorrow nations cannot mend.

Tell of the sad derangement of the heart.
The wind is up and musical. The sky
Rolls over meadows, over cities, over cart
And Cadillac, the sanctum and the sty.
The blossom in the garden is not a thing apart.
Dinner’s in the oven. Friends are dropping by.
Tell of the sad derangement of the heart.
Tell of the sorrow when nations have to part.

Tell of the sad derangement of the soul.
The wine is on the table. The talk is fine.
There’s lamplight in the corner, the glowing coal,
Laughter from the kitchen, washing on the line.
Gourmets (fit to twist a knowing nostril) stroll
The happy halls. There’s music. Pass the wine.
Tell of the sad derangement of the soul.
Tell of the sorrow when nations lose control.

Tell of the sad derangement of the man.
Sleep is in the doorway, and the night
Closes behind it. The fondest lovers yawn,
Fold themselves in beds both neighbourly and right.
A sanctuary of starlight protects them as they scan
The inner world of dreams, before the morning light.
Tell of the sad derangement of the man.
Tell of the sorrow before the world began.

from Damnatio Memoriae: Erased from Memory (Enitharmon, 2004), copyright ? Sebastian Barker 2004, used by permission of the author and publisher

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