Ken Smith poems
Ken Smith(1938 - 2003)
The Secret Police
- by Ken Smith 42They are listening in the wires,
in the walls, under the eaves
in the wings of house martins,
in the ears of old women,
in the mouths of children.
They are listening to this now.
So let's hear it for the secret police,
a much misunderstood minority.
After all, they have their rights,
their own particular ways of seeing things,
saying things, cooking things,
they too have a culture uniquely their own.
; And we think
they should have their own state
where they could speak their own
incomprehensible tongues, write
their confessions, their own unknown histories,
cultivate their habits of watching
by watching each other, and fly
their own flags there, at attention
on parade in their medals at their monuments
on their secret anniversaries, making speeches,
singing praises to the God of Paranoia.
And at the end of the day
bury their dead, publish coded obituaries
to each other, and rest at last
in their own kind of peace, forever.
- by Ken Smith 37one thing then another
one story then another conversation
always interrupted by another conversation
I want the words to barely glaze the page
gone the moment of their utterance
as we are
in back of this a story a man with his face with his name
exile emigrant refugee displaced person outsider offcomerdon stranger suspect
the terms interchangeable politically undesireable
a story of a man who leaves his country
and the woman he loves
and the story of why
and her story
they never meet again
that's it that's all of it
far away she hears in the night street
footsteps footsteps stop
when she stops go on when she goes on
from the dark in back of her she hears
I can see you I can see you
Sammy Sammy Sammy Sammy I can see you
far away she must go on
far away he must go on
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