Today’s Talk:  
Sounds of the Universe

Meteors whistle. So does lightning.
Cape Town’s flash hums London’s streets.
A solemn boom sends our heads shaking.
Deep as sea, our Sun’s heartbeat
Grows quick and rough, blots out the streets
Out-pulses the stalled shuddered bus.
Wait five million years. Its heat
Will soar, a red giant, swallow us.

Big Bang passes, whoosh to whisper.
Saturn’s dust hits probe controls.
What makes that squeaking, blackbird chorus?
I think I slid in a black hole,
Whose note, rung deeper than our ears,
Impatient of quick human music
Bubbles, every million years.

The talk is done. The beat is gone.
Lost in my life, I stray to buy
Ice-cream. The shop was taken over.
Vast boxes fill the purring fridge.
I walk on past a tangled hedge.
That is where she found the daisies

Rough and white, slipped from the garden,
Picked by the little Polish girl
Who came, with taller friends, to work
A year or two, crammed in small flats.
But she is smaller, blonder, younger,
Back from her wandering course round town;
Bites her lip – the gangmaster shouts –
A silent child, hangs her head down.

Poland. England. In the daisies
She dips her face. The scent is gone.
England. World. Soft thud. She closes
The tiny flat. The Sun beats on.

Alison Brackenbury

If you have any comments on this poem, Alison Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.

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