Not Seeing

I had a son once
clever as a weasel
evading traps
& gins

He fought in no
war - never did an honest
turn at a bench

Earned large money
by selling charms
of others

Had an eye for ethic
could detect a christian
a mile distant
& live like a flea on him
so long as the blood lasted –

I do him in this wrong
He was sapless rootless

Assumed he was underwritten
for comfort sex health
or whatever else could be scraped!
Regarded others’ sons as his
sons to be battened on

Collected wealth into dung-
houses pushing them
against encroaching winters
into nearby holes

Never noticing not seeing the orbiting
great earth rolling

Indeterminately rounding its corners


The father has a clear & unflattering view of his spiv-like son. He is sad but not surprised at what he sees.

His most serious complaint is that this rootless boy is not willing to face the uncertainty everyone faces, or to endure - forgetting his own comfort for a while - whatever has to be endured.