Pasternak and David Lean Maurice Jarre and Stalin

2 February 2001

The bits don’t fit. . .
Mr Whippy in the suburbs
between the psalms of mowers

and clean cars of a Sunday.
The tune is mixing up its message:
6/8 on a high celeste

the kind that wings might stroke in heaven
some where my love
in David Lean’s three hour account

of Pasternak’s Zhivago
and further back the sound of Stalin
talking on the wire

there will be songs to sing
as children wring a coin from mum
and sprint across the lawns.

The dogs are yelping out of sync.
The icecream man from Hamelin
sagging, pale, without his flute

is trying hard to smile —
the franchise bill is due on Friday.
How come so many streets are bare?

The silver lilt of Maurice Jarre
is hollow in his head.
His dreams are deep and wide as well

with waltzing and with snow,
with icicles like slivered glass
and curlicues in cones.

Street by street all afternoon
he circles off until
the contradictions fuse at last

and jangle in his bones.

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