For Brendan Cox – a poem
Written on William Blake’s birthday, 28 November, by Jay Ramsay.
FOR BRENDAN COX The Metro, 24.11.16
We have nothing…the folded headline begins
until you open it out but pity
having lost the love of your life, your wife,
in the most brutal way imagineable
you stand as so few men could, or can,
Look at his eyes and goatee beard:
there’s no one there. Look at yours
and there’s presence, warm as your soul, strong;
there is I and all you stand in
that stands in you.
Goatee Satan and The Man,
and she is a living sacrifice
in realms we cannot understand
without him. She’s Magdalene-alive,
crucified by our ignorance
by the hate that can only divide—
and out of the wound pours love.
How can we sanction it ?
Cuchulain fights the sea, and fails.
How can we see the plan ?
There is a higher order in everything,
that’s how the light gets in
beyond our reckoning
but not our life as it fills
with its all-seeing eye that is
this I in you, Brendan.
The eyes of everyone else in the picture
around your oasis of family
lost as if in a dream—the policemen, the priest’s
in the flashlight and the motordrive,
but not you and yours. It is extraordinary.
You stand and you have everything
and we have, because of you.
No moral high ground or platitude
but a universe of love—
gathering towards its invisible crest like a wave
flooding all reason, all rationale
that a man can stand like this
and forever, and now, and again. Jay Ramsay 28 Nov. 2016
(William Blake’s birthday)