Image by Caroline Forbes

Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

Sebastian Barker


Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

Sebastian Barker


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

Recordings

Sebastian Barker Reading from his Poems

1Tilty Mill

2The Green Aphis

3The War of Watch and Pen

4Bluebells

5Shockwaves

6The Walled Garden

7On the Rocks

8Before the Time of the Sundial 1, 3, 4, 8

9The Hand in the Well

10Go, Gracious Words

11People

12Poetry

13Justice

14The Light on the River

15In the Cradle of the Poets

16Visitation in the Mountains

17Daughter

18Spring Day Near Reepham

19A Sealed Box for Xanthi

20Strike the Lovely Dumb

21Undone by Love

22Drinking Song

23A Love Song to Eros

24Being Here

25The Sage of the Cambrian Mountains

26The Dancing Crocodile

27Curriculum Vitae

28Katie

29A Book

30Young Woman Dancing

31A Small Ballet of Light

32The Lilies of the Field

33Sex

34Take hands. The moon

35On the Anvil of the Tongue

36The Visitors

37Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

38Athenagoras

39Holy the Heart on which We Hang Our Hope

40In the Valley of the Moselle

41The Rites Mysterious

42The Uncut Stone

43The Conscience of the Real

44Walk with Me

45The Fluting Trumpeteer

46The Elderberry Tree

47The Articles of Prayer

48Rosaceous Wonders

49The Stranger in the Pass

50For Eddie Linden on his 70th Birthday

51For Glyn Hughes on His 70th Birthday

52Spirit of the River

Books & cds by Sebastian Barker