A response to a prompt bydVERSE Poets for a poem modelled on one by an established poet. I have chosen Ted Hughs's Conjuring in Heaven
Children's chalk games on the square,
squares within a larger square,
and in the squares are icons drawn -
though mostly scribbled out in blue
where two dead zebras white on black
in passing have been spared.
(The rain has washed out Africa.)
Close by, a circle,
top half sun with earth beneath,
the two at the equator met. All this to show
the two can live
that neither is a threat?
Pie in the sky while all the trees
burn merrily. Their leaves,
like insects, cover earth.
Then look again
where two white suns
collide in space
and ask of us, "Can earth survive?"
they've chalked blue numbers on them all.
What do they do,
these children, skip
from one disaster to the next?
They've left some pieces on the ground...
like tokens on a board:
a plastic man
a recipe for fish
beneath a stone for paperweight
beside the cataleptic beasts.
Conjuring in Heaven
So finally there was nothing.
It was put inside nothing.
Nothing was added to it
And to prove it didn't exist
Squashed flat as nothing with nothing.
Chopped up with nothing
Shaken in a nothing
Turned completely inside out
And scattered over nothing -
So everybody saw that it was nothing
And that nothing more could be done with it
And so it was dropped. Prolonged applause in Heaven.
It hit the ground and broke open -
There lay Crow - cataleptic.
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