Holy City of Byzantium

Home » poetry » Klee/Clover

Klee/Clover

Advertisements

by Tom Paulin (b. 1949)

Nightwatch after nightwatch
Paul Klee endured
‘horribly boring guard duty’
at the gasoline cellar
and every morning
outside the Zeppelin hangar
there was drill then a speech
tacked with junk formulas
he varnished wings
and stencilled numbers
next to gothic insignia
a private first-class
with a lippy dislike
of their royal majesties
and Flying School 5 (Bavaria)

he wrote home to Lily
it’s nice this spring weather
and now we’ve laid out a garden
between the second and third runways
the airfield’s becoming
more and more beautiful

each time a plane crashed
– and that happened quite often
he cut squares of canvas
from the wings and fuselage
he never said why
but every smashed biplane
looked daft or ridiculous
halfjokey and untrue
– maybe the pilots annoyed him?
those unlovely aristos
who never knew they were flying
primed blank canvases
into his beautiful airfield.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Archived posts

%d bloggers like this: