The Walking Mad
A new poem
The streets of London are full of the walking mad,
Muttering, snarling, angrily answering
Someone who’s never there.
Sometimes you catch a ferocious, direct stare
By chance, unaware of anything,
A furnace’s blind glare.
Where have they come from, where are they going,
What is the matter, why have they come to this?
They crackle and spit, they fume
In the bright morning, and in the gathering gloom
They pour their grim energies
Into a stifled room.
They cannot get out, they are trapped in fire,
They are primed to explode, they spin
A Catherine wheel that’s lit
By a long sputtering fuse, and it
Lets no one out or in.
Their rage immoderate,
They cannot see themselves but travel blind
Hurling obscenities at all around,
Hurrying on to spray
Another street with accusations. They
Are obdurate, iron-bound,
And do not go away.