Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Meg Campbell

Dear Couch Potato

Two thousand years sitting

at the right hand of God!

and before that, who knows

how long? From before

the Earth was formed you were

there at His right hand!

What about sending her back?

She was once the most real

most brutal of critics. She loved

with a tribal love, and doubted

with a collective dislike.

I was too quirky by far,

for her taste. But, as a curiosity,

I was an important friend.

Now I pour love and horror

at your boney feet and pinch

your gown between my roughened

fingers. Your blue eyes narrow.

Execution, courtesy of Television

Never mind. The murderer

must pay for his crimes.

Now is the hour, the moment

of execution, and final helplessness.

We search his face for panic.

How could he be so calm

Is he sedated? Can he feel

no apprehension? The button

is pushed. A gleam

of intelligence departs on queue.

Heat, steam and water

leave his body. Relatives

of his victim notice, satisfied,

that he has wet his pants.

A rigid shape is weeping

(watch his face, his hands)

weeping to let go -- to be

transported beyond dread.

It's disgusting. ... we

are all murderers.

The Goose Girl

Anything that distracts us

flicking the eye away from the central image --

a hair across a leaf,

a golden apple dropped

a rolling to a stop --
it is here I have

learnt to turn sorrow to advantage. Imbalance

or madness I've learned to love

as preparation for chaos.

A neat world can trap you
in the need for order.

Meg Campbell: I published my first book of poems in 1980 when I was 43, after many admissions to psychiatric care in a big mental hospital. Perhaps I received my most valuable education there. For the past 23 years I have lived happily in the everyday world, being now properly diagnosed and taking the correct medication.

Peter Olds Meg Campbell Kirin Cerise Simon Lewis Graham Bishop Mahinarangi Tocker

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