Friday, December 9, 2016

Jack Scott writes


Birth can be sad when mother wakes
and baby sleeps right on
in separate beds,
in separate rooms.
A child is born
into this dreamlike day.

The mother wakes - her job is done,
but hasn’t seen her little one,
and won’t,
she has agreed it’s best for all
to form no further bond
that must be further broken.

The baby wakes in thin October light
and cries because it is so bright.
Does she know her mother isn’t there?
Does she feel like something’s missing?
One cord’s been cut, one more remains.
She’ll never be this small again.
This is her time - purely,
before others enter in.

Birth is bookend one,
tombstone date the other;
each half of a mated pair.
Her birthstone lies
at the very heart
of time to come.
No message yet
in the space to follow,
no borrowed verse expressing pride:
of name, of marriage, parentage,
of property or roots, of profit or its fruit,
of loss of others come and gone before, 
or the hope to join them,
only unspoken and unwrit, implied
hello to all that is to come,
a life written by its author.

One more document,
actual as taxes,
to be formalized in ink
by the poised hand of Authority:
her Certificate of Birth,
pending final naming.
Those who will not sail it
are not to name the boat.
Baby Doe, her maiden name.

She lies within a borrowed wrapping.
How could she own, she has not earned.
Chrysalis statistically: one hand clapping.
She does not even own her name;
rented, it will be taken from her,
exchanged upon her transplantation.

This baby girl born at the stony throat
of scrawny neck of Belfast Bay,
high upon a hill where summer folk play
when wild fragaria and bleuets  
are in season, red and blue,
then depart frost-driven,
southward as their money flows.
The summer folk are relatively rich and few
and when they blow and go kerchew
they contain themselves with handkerchiefs
the locals wash and iron,
the mother being one of them: maid of all work,
a domestic factotum capable as well
of heavier odd jobbing like working
in his boatyard with her pa.
Often nanny, good with children, 
loved by them for her good heart
and gentle, caring  ways.

1 comment:

  1. The names "John/Johnny/Jane/Janie Doe" or "John/Johnny/Jane/Janie Roe" (or sometimes just "Doe") are used as placeholder names for men, women, or children whose true identity is unknown (or withheld) in a legal action, police case, or discussion, or to a corpse or hospital patient, mainly in the US and Canada; a "typical" male may also be called "John Doe" or" John Q. Public." Similarly, a child whose identity is unknown may be referred to as "Baby Doe." The usage dates to the 14th century or earlier, along with other names such as "Doo," "Richard Roe," "John-a-Noakes," or "John-a-Stiles." The practice was lampooned in an 1834 song:
    Two giants live in Britain's land,
    John Doe and Richard Roe,
    Who always travel hand in hand,
    John Doe and Richard Roe.
    Their fee-faw-fum's an ancient plan
    To smell the purse of an Englishman,
    And, 'ecod, they'll suck it all they can.
    The fictional characters of John Doe and Richard Roe were abolished by the Common Law Procedure Act of 1852, though since 2005 a "John Doe Order" was issued to describe an injunction sought against someone whose identity is not known at the time it is issued, in this case when lawyers acting for JK Rowling and her publishers obtained an interim order against an unidentified person who had offered to sell chapters of a stolen copy of an unpublished "Harry Potter" novel to the media. "Joe Bloggs" or "John Smith" are the common placeholder names in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for a typical person.
    "Fragaria" is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. They are commonly known as strawberries, though they ae not berries at all but rather fleshy, edible receptacles. What are usually called "seeds" are actually achenes (fruits that contain a single seed that almost fills the pericarl but does not adhere to it). The common name is probably derived from "strewn berry" in that the fruit is scattered about the base of the plant.
    In 1862 Victor Hugo published the novel "Les Misérables" in which Fantine sings a song that has a refrain that ends:
    Les bleuets sont bleus, les roses sont roses,
    Les bleuets sont bleus, j'aime mes amours.
    [Violets are blue, roses are red,
    Violets are blue, I love my loves.]

    This was a variation on the English nursery rhyme:
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Sugar is sweet,
    And so are you.
    This probably evolved from "Gammer Gurton's Garland," a 1784 collection of nursery rhymes:
    The rose is red, the violet's blue,
    The honey's sweet, and so are you.
    Thou are my love and I am thine;
    I drew thee to my Valentine:
    The lot was cast and then I drew,
    And Fortune said it shou'd be you.
    Which, in turn, ultimately came from Edmund Spenser's 1590 epic, "The Faerie Queene":
    It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
    When Titan faire his beames did display,
    In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
    She bath'd her brest, the boyling heat t'allay;
    She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
    And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.
    The theme is so ubiquitous that, as a class, it has its own Roud Folk Song Index number (19798). And it is often parodied. For example, in "Horse Feathers" (written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S. J. Perelman, and Will B. Johnstone), Chico Marx describes the symptoms of cirrhosis:
    Cirrhosis are red,
    so violets are blue,
    so sugar is sweet,
    so so are you.


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