Pages

Saturday, February 29, 2020

counterpane: the bed of illness & recovery



the mountain: like a body

beneath a blanket

– after Ransetsu


still me, it seems, awake in the quiet
of another room


healing loves to wrap itself
in a blanket


open the window
shoo the fug out the room



soft orders of quilt
marshal my dreams


seeing the mattress in the street we share a laugh:
she wants to bounce on it, I want a lie down


it’s wise to pack your own parachute
& make your own bed


whumping the pillows
care not cure


for the sake of equality
shake the duvet


















her fists sleep tight
fillips of light blow in at the window


pain stays within the blanket
speech reaches out of the bed


the sheet’s daubed with dark patches


for the ill blankets are a sign of labour
sheets a sign of defeat


in the realm of health
sleep is wealth




the setting in which a body
rests its landscape: blanket


beneath the nullity of the blanket
there is the good of a rest


some climb the hills with their legs
others use their knees to shape duvet mountains


for the bed-bound the idea of ‘free time’, ‘leisure time’, or ‘rest’, is insulting

time in bed is devoted to long spells of laboured passivity
seeking brief episodes of recovery


rest is shelter for a body filled with weather



















from that day on her bed became a den


bedrooms can be navigated in terms of distant inaccessible landscapes


tweed is the closest cultural approximation of nature


there should be no moving thing in the bedroom
except perhaps a candle flame


we each have a bedtime name



Ransetsu, retranslated from the Spanish of Jorge Carrera Andrade by Joshua Beckman and Alejandro de Acosta

Some of these poems were first exhibited in the exhibition, Day of Access, Travelling Gallery, 2019; some were first published in Paidemua magazine, 2020.


Alec Finlay

photographs by Hannah Devereux, originally published in A Far-off Land.

No comments:

Post a Comment