“The iteration of these lines brings gold—”
Touching this knob brings magic from the air;
The Djinni can transport you anywhere.
Give us the red-hot rhythm: Poor Tom’s acold.
Give him this day, O Lord, his daily dope,
Lest at his window into outer fear,
The backless cupboard, peeping with his ear
He sit too long, or at his hagioscope
The drug wears off and he sees clear enough
Behind the solemn voices and the choir
Of reassurance, behind the screen of higher
Purpose, the blind men play their Blind Man’s Bluff.
Leave the tap running with the food of love
That’s still the soldier’s medicine for fear;
“If you don’t listen, then it isn’t there!”
The music says so, chuckling in its sleeve.
This comfort is laid on to every room;
Poor Tom is cleverer than his fathers were;
Our air is patterned like their wallpaper.
Incredible sentimental roses bloom
To bait the wheedling voice of retail trade.
The sweet bribe oozes stickily in the ear.
Under the bed the vox-box conjuror
Plays burglars—there’s no need to be afraid;
The genuine nightmare’s paid to know its place.
This programme has been packed with every care.
You can’t go wrong; our sales talk theatre
Pulls down the curtain on the rotting face.
Latter day miracles are in reverse:
The Flesh is now made Word for all to hear;
Seeking its god the starving voice of prayer
Creeps in the marrow of the Universe,
Subsidized by a wise capitalist
—Its Sunday programmes keep him on the air—
But from the Heaviside Layer, in static, there
Cracks the reply: “I, GOD, do not exist!”
Turn up the music, then, and let it pour!
“It stops you thinking of your troubles, dear!
I hear they’re bombing London over there;
I hear they’ve just blown up the house next door.”
The isle is full of noises. Stay inside!
Outside there’s only unconditioned air.
But any hour you can tune in to where
The bed-time story advances like the tide.