POETRY

Holy Shark

By

The world where I live is the world that I make,
And the world that I make is the world that I wish,
And the world that I wish is the road that I take,
That I take to the dark of an underground lake,
And the answer to this is a fish, is a fish,
And the answer to this is a fish.

For the fish in the lake is a fish in the dark,
And the dark of the lake is the dark of his mind,
And the mind of the fish is the mind of a shark,
Of a shark in the dark, of a shark that is blind,
That is black as my hat and as blind as a bat,
Of a shark that is blind as a bat.

And the teeth of the shark are as sharp as the shine
Of the world that I make in the deep of my heart,
Where the shark of my heart is infallibly mine
As He swims through the dark of the world that I chart,
Of the world that I chart in the shine of my brain,
In the shrine of the shine of my brain,

And the shrine of my brain is the glow and the glim
Of the fish in the dark of the lake underground,
That is One, that is All, that is Seriatim,
That is perfectly pure and ineffably Him
In the sheer of His sides as He glides without sound
Through the fathomless lake underground,

Through the fathomless lake, the unending inane,
Up and down, to and fro and again and again,
In the deep of my heart, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat,
Like the whispering soul of the aristocrat,
In his Palace of Glass, in his Castle in Spain,
In the world that I make, that I take, that I chart,
Like the place in the scattering dark where I start,
Like a Fortification of Art.

John Whitworth is one of those fattish, baldish, backward-looking, provincial poets in which England is so rich. His tenth collection, Girlie Gangs, was published by Enitharmon in 2012 to international acclaim. Well, Les Murray liked it. And Walter Ancarrow in America. You might also consider Writing Poetry published by A & C Black, one of those how-to books; it has run to a second edition and is pretty good, though he (the poet) would say that, wouldn’t he? He once won £5,000 for a single poem. Listen and marvel.

The world where I live is the world that I make,
And the world that I make is the world that I wish,
And the world that I wish is the road that I take,
That I take to the dark of an underground lake,
And the answer to this is a fish, is a fish,
And the answer to this is a fish.