miracle

call my name ā€” witness
the divine machinery
of recognition

This poem cost a lot of effort. Remembered very little of my dreams this morning. I was among several women all of whom were wearing ape-costumes without the head of the costume: so their own heads were visible. I thought I remembered the name of one of them, unsure if I would make a fool of myself by guessing it out loud. The chain of associations this dream gave rise to, awake, included: King Kong; cybermen; Prof Brian Cox’s TV series ‘The Human Universe’; the name Penny; John Wilmot Earl of Rochester; my own poem layering from last week; the novelist and poet Charles Williams. I see quite a lot of Charles Williams in this morning’s poem, with its juxtaposition of the everyday with a slightly pompous abstract theology. I am learning a lot about Williams from Carpenter’s book on the Inklings (e.g. a contemporary description of his face as ‘simian’) and finding it difficult to arrive at a balanced appraisal of the man. One thing is certain however: I was heavily influenced by him at an early age because my mother read me his novels when I was still a child. I believe my sanity was definitely compromised. Professor Brian Cox entitled the first of the Human Universe programmes ‘From Apeman to Spaceman’ and it occurred to me that both ape costume and space suit look roughly similar, especially with helmet missing (diving costume too). I tried a poem about human beings looking for a human identity bridging ape and spaceman. But I’m pleased the final poem is less abstract than that, and shows signs of the impact of meeting my baby nephew at the beginning of the week. It’s a cliche that babies are miraculous, but they really are.

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