Hand and Eye

This is the burning-pot, last time the rice.
Tonight, it's the specially-bought organic potatoes.
So, time to sit back and ponder why it's gone wrong.
You never were a ball-player, a Sobers, a Beckham.
Even juggling with Latin embarrassed you with its spillage
Of meaning. So why persist in thinking, after a life's experience,
You could better what the Americans said of one of their Presidents
And try to chew gum and scratch your arse at the same time.

To cook the meal and write the poem is the issue:
When will you give up this fantasy? You recall the young
Shirley Temple at the piano announcing to the audience
That she would play and sing at the same time.
And you think, all these years after Temple; all these men
In the world maintaining two families at the same time;
The politicians conducting war and peace at the same time;
Is it too much to ask yourself to these two things at once?

copyright © E A Markham 2007, used by permission of the author

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1To My Mother, The Art Critic

2A Little Ritual

3Don't Talk to Me about Bread

4Hurricane, Volcano, Mass Flight

5Two interludes from John Lewis & Co

6God of the Flat

7The Lamp

8At the Redland Hotel, Stamford Hill

9A Family Gift

10A Mugger’s Game



13Make Love, Not War

14Psalm 151

15A Verandah Ceremony

16Scarves and Benches

17A Politically-Correct Marriage


19Hand and Eye

20So What’s It Like?

Books by E A Markham