Clay Pot

Nothing I can write can fix this. Nothing I can write will stay.
Like the shells upon the shoreline that will shortly wash away.
So still my hand upon the keys, each word a wasted lack of breath
down the barrel of over two million deaths
that I don’t have the words for.

Or the ink, or time to think, or time to hope and pray.

We wouldn’t even have the time on an infinity of Thursdays.
But the hospital lights do not go out, the nurses just get thrifty.
Do or die, with or without, a raise of three pound fifty.
So if they can do it, so can I, and without any drama.
Especially as I’m at home, typing in pyjamas.

The ebb and flow of tide and time aren’t always on your side.

But you have to make a pen scratch for the people who have died.

Or a drawing or a painting or a map of fictional lands.

Or maybe even a clay pot that you made with your two hands.
Impermanence is perfect, because if nothing here will stay,
no matter how much you suck, your creations are okay.

And your poems will be too.

Even if they stop rhyming in the middle and break all natural rhythm completely.

The tallest most beautiful tower, made completely out of gold,
is absolutely worthless if there’s no chance that it won’t get old.
Because to make art is just like living, a natural act of defiance.
Because destruction brings creation through, in a natural alliance.

Because in the end, every number gets called.

Young, middle aged or grey and bald.

So when you see the hooded man with his sickle swinging wide.
You cannot run to save yourself, there was never a place to hide.
The sickle raises to your chest, but even though you’re got,
You smile wide at the silly spectre, and show him your clay pot.


This is an excerpt from Charlie Chitty’s new poetry chapbook, Throwing Dead Pigeons Into Oncoming Traffic, coming soon from Terror House Press.