How poems happen
Nicholas Blincoe questioned on my Facebook page why we take Orwell so seriously, and as I stirred the porridge and tried to frame a reply it came to me, as so many things do, as a poem.
He is the patron saint of being there,
showing us how the silence of stopped clocks
echoes loud as the ticking that it mocks.
Saw the bright patterns dust makes in the air
when you are bleeding out. He praised the true
notes in good prose, saw how the oily thud
of cliche poisons thought. Lying in mud
and dust, he fought for Spain, and wrote war new
Betrayed by comrades. Essays are the best
of him, precise and clean. They are worth more
than anything in 1984
which only warns. They are the weapons chest
that helps us fight - and fight him too when he
Stops questioning, becomes a certainty.