“They flee from me that sometime did me seek”
……………………………………….. – Sir Thomas Wyatt)
After Wyatt After 11/8/’01
I flee from some whom sometime I sought out
for honest kind opinions: ‘Tell – do you like this?’
These trustees’ approval I have drunk like milk
to fortify my unproved notions’ bones;
their contrasting praises have supplied
my groping inspirations’ vitamins.
I’d now avoid their eyes and voices.
War’s ejaculation having mashed to dust
machines and walls and flesh, injects cement
into divergent certainties.
The knowing now all know
what knowledge will improve their faiths.
Discovered hesitant between, I would be crushed.
I grow surreptitious,
hide away my thoughts,
in case dear confidants, now fired
with passionate convictions,
find me out – the insult of my questioning,
the chill treachery inherent in my doubt.
by Lionel Abrahams
from International Poetry Web, 2004