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DEE RIMBAUD

Dee Rimbaud was born in 1962 in Glasgow, Scotland, and studied to post-graduate level at Edinburgh College of Art from 1986-1991. He edited Dada Dance magazine from 1984-1989 and Acid Angel magazine from 1998-2000; and is currently editor of AA Independent Press Guide and The Book Of Hopes And Dreams. His poetry collections include The Bad Seed (Stride 1998) and Dropping Ecstasy With The Angels (Bluechrome 2004). This last was short listed for numerous awards and won joint first place with George Wallace (Long Island Poet Laureate) in The Poetry Kit's Favourite Poetry Book Award. His novel, Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God was published by Bluechrome in 2004.

 

FLOUNDERING BY THE PREACHING OF THE WORD

(Radio Edit)

     

 

I. The Bird That Never Flew

 

Nothing as sophisticated as a copper clip,

nothing that could be reversed, poor bird:

it was plucked at birth.

 

Wee bald hatchling, what chance?

What chance did it ever have?

Even the fattest, most languid cat

could’ve trapped it under cruel claw.

 

What chance?  Its caged-bird song

plaintive as foghorns

strained from the Clyde’s forgotten dawn,

melancholy with dull dreams

of washing days and tenement greens.

 

Oh dearie me.  Oh me, oh my!

Puir wee chookie bird couldnae fly.

 

 

II. The Bell That Never Rang

 

Cracked and choked with city soot

this bell is mute,

witless in senile silence:

a belly full of bitter bile.

 

What use a voice as clear as cymbals

if the heart’s too dark to love?

What use calling up the faithless

to hear the preaching of the word?

 

 

III. The Tree That Never Grew

 

This is no dear green place

but a wasteland

of broken concrete blocks,

with barbed wire strands

blowing like streamers

in the wind.

 

And this tree is no tree

but a petrified, withered stump,

without branches, without leaves,

its bark, frost-bled,

scored with a cross-hatch

of angry slogans.

 

The pope

and also, inevitably,

the queen,

and so the acronyms

of these warring tribes

grow, like fungus.

 

No wonder

this tree never grew.

How could anything flourish

under such leaden skies?

 

 

IV. The Fish That Never Swam

 

Bloody river,

bloody river of this city’s undoing

with your bloody history

of shipbuilding and conquest,

of slavery and theft,

all dressed up

in the tarnished gilt

of imperial majesty:

 

your dereliction is a plague

visited by the gods

upon all your daughters and sons.

 

Syphilitic river, no wonder

no fish ever swam

in your poisonous waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

copyright © Dee Rimbaud