91. A Recipe for Children

for you all

Little noisy children, then, aren’t
you nice?
          – just as you should be, yes
everywhere that we can think of
funny little creatures uncommitted yet
to all that crap we must believe & follow
adult masculine English, say
                             uncertain class & age
what commonplace delusions that you don’t
yet share
          of course now lots
totally fucked up & maybe even lost
but most alive & hopeful still
the future such a grasp of faith
actually here embodied
                       open & illuminating

So what do we need?
                    for more
little children to pass through
                                full
sometimes of life, sometimes of quiet
none of this easy & none of it a recipe
but what we’d need then is something like
                        an openness to your growing lives
                        & a way of adjusting all that is around
                        into your flourishing transformations
                        some sorts of food as varied & as comforting
                        as all that can be managed
                                                   & like too
                        spaces open and enclosed, full up & empty
                        you know, just every possibility
                        – someone1 needs to have produced these
                        & someone needs to carry this all on
                        somewhere to run & someone to turn to
                        softness & feeling totally assured
                        others just like when you’re bibbling & bobbling
                        & others totally unlike so you can learn good things
                                                        – whatever you need
                        time as well, to be on your own
                                                        staying engaged
                        & time to be caught up with others
                                                           a mad laughing mob
                                                           rolling down hills
                                                           little hills
                                                           giggling together
                        & words
                                good words attuned to you
                                           & about you
                                           engaging you in colloquy
                                           engaging you in nonsense
                                a constant gentle rain
                                language softened into mud
                                squidged up & scooped
                                                      all over you
                        & things for your bodies & things
                        for your eyes & things for
                        your ears & nose & your hands again
                        water & sand & mud & stone & wood & paper
                        plastic & metal & everything natural
                        & lots that is unnatural
                                                 stories & love
                                                 music & encouragement
                                                 peacefulness & challenge
                                                 & always
                                                          to listen
                                                          & to respond
                        Chinese feasts & barbecues
                        picnics & Christmas
                                            – all with as many others
                                              as you can gather
                        breakfast at Broadstairs or teatime in Coffee Corner
                        sitting on a sofa w/ everyone around or
                        just as many as fit
                                            on a mat out the back
                                            or even a large cardboard box
– this isn’t telling anyone
anything we don‘t know
                       but
just praising what is good
fall quiet now

Hullo?
       – are you alright?
this place needs noise now
needs everything said again
                            & done
whatever ceremonies are proper
that appear out of nothing
(like this whole ridiculous universe
                                     yes?
                                     & like us)
doing what you do to help the child
                     be what you are
                     & will be
                       a person
                       true person
                       playing yourself
                       as your self
                       just as you are
                       can be

This is
        a revolutionary demand I’d say
        to do this truly & fully
        rushing in as absolute & unforgiving
        like a sundog over Harlow2
        like the digging up of relics
        of who we could have been
        like a poem by Sean Bonney
        like an urgent summons
        on someone else’s phone
                                – oh my god it’s you
                                  that’s who they want
                                  you’re wanted now
                                  to help us all
make this much better
                                  if too late for us
                                  for all our children
                                  & yours for ever3

Thank you – this is
a start again to say
the same words really
(oh thank you constraints of form that chose me!
but I don’t care
                 – for what is good
we can say again & again
with no loss of balance, only
just to do better is a gain
our eyes will burn
unless we open them to this light
of the new world continually around us
utopian hope lurking even in unrented shops
& we risk losing it
letting the old drop onto it
suppressing it into what we are
actually bound here as we are
we think ourselves free still
we carers & we parents
we know that you must be
not as we are4
but as we could be
          should be
in a world that is as it should be
as nothing else will preserve our lives
                                & yours

[So much I must say, so much I must finish with, ending what isn’t a recipe, except as I say it is, disordered as late summer sun collapsing into autumn. We must dig out what we need from it, if we’re to get through the coming winter & you, our children, flourish – rooty-tooting like glad tapirs in an uncomplicated alchemy, changing everything we live within into what will sustain us, especially our children for ever. “Always a good time to rebuild, now,” we say, as we serve you this dish to enjoy & nourish

 

 

1 that is us, dear reader or dear audience

 

 

2 or Mortimer’s Cross or the someone else’s Bridge: cold & luminous anyway

 

 

3 The political is children; the psychological is children. Socialism is children. Everything else is profitable infanticide.

 

 

4 insipid ghosts

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