Tags: norman maccaig

Dreamers: A bottle of wine in one hand


A dandling light and the world sings tremolo;
Even the grass, grown soulful, hangs its head
Over the prim winks of its daisies. Low
In a bush a blackbird trills then chirps instead.

And an old myth tries to heave itself to its feet:
The phoenix newly feathered in the east
Takes wing, blundering; and Phoenix not so fleet
Comes cantering after it, but comes at least.

And the dank grass is tangled with the song
Squirmed from a blackbird by the probe of light:
The hush is over....It will not be long.
Phoenix and blackbird. Bear it without spite.

Only a beauty with no rouge of myth
Walks plain in the plain field. Her decent hand
Will give you a meaning you can wrestle with;
Something to die of, not to understand.
Rosie: Am I a ghost upon the stage?

Incident - Norman MacCaig

I look across the table and think
(fiery with love)
Ask me, go on, ask me
to do something impossible,
something freakishly useless,
something unimaginable and inimitable

Like making a finger break into blossom
or walking for half an hour in twenty minutes
or remembering tomorrow.

I will you to ask it.
But all you say is
Will you give me a cigarette?
And I smile and,
returning to the marvelous world
of possibility
I give you one
with a hand that trembles
with a human trembling.