poetry, trails of thought

Wot / Hau / Wai [from the home that did you so much harm]

The Scream.jpg
By Edvard Munch – WebMuseum at ibiblio
Page: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/
Image URL: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/munch.scream.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37610298


So OK, you say, you’ve said all along:

they were right and I was wrong, and so many

wrongs you never righted lie unrighted

like ship, already mentioned,

under levels of grave water: muddy as hell.

And the bell rings out like a soulless creature

I never forgot by the bedside I hid from

as child in thatched cottage of anciently

fearful time, with big white mooning face

over my face: and my whole damn childhood

is a scream, you know: not a scream of lovable

moments of joy but a scream, like the scream

you see in the art of the galleries which

display the terror of the mind you and I never

shared completely, nor even tried to.

And all I strive now to know is wot happened

to you as child.  What happened to

me is irrelevant any more: I once loved

another, and although I did badly, and still I

do badly to still love her much more than

anyone else I ever will touch, I can’t

help myself, she’s a white angel of

love who made me feel good and bad

about life and sex and stuff, and you didn’t

do that, but your fear and wot and stuff

escaped my temporary detection, and all I

know now is your wot and your hau

will end up destroying what little we have

left, unless you or someone can say some sort

of wai you found it so hard to enjoy physical

affection, even before I shrugged you off for

the love of my life.


And I wonder if it was me, or you – or us both.

And I wonder this big wai we could give love so

gorgeous to the children we brought up as we

did (admittedly, in rather curious and solitary privacy);

and who love us so finely, and who’ll achieve in their

love and passion and endeavours the exceptionally

fabulous drama of personal grandeur.

And that independence I so begged from you

we’ve given to our children – stepping-stone by

stepping-stone by stepping-stone by


Frog-leapt people who croak not to die but to

sigh and rise to higher climes

than you and I

will ever reach now.


And whilst I know the wot: a life where you found

yourself incapable of loving me with the touch

of your hand in joyful communion, in pleasure

and life … and whilst I know the hau: this existence

of cold steely fearsome “correctitude” on my part

as I resisted the instinct inexpertly to demand,

and as I find myself naturally unable to beg any more

you coercive collaboration in the pleasure

I yearn for, the simple pleasure of skin against

skin was all I asked for … and so I am

led to my final straw: I can no

longer continue: the wai of your life is quite beyond

me at last.  And all I can say and all I can do is admit

we have nothing we can do or can say.

For I asked you if you think my problem is work

and by answering affirmatively, you affirm that

your love is no longer – if ever – a matter for

negotiation.  And though nothing for the moment

shall happen at all with

your wot,

your hau,

your wai,

all so bewildering … I still do find myself asking the

final questions: wot, hau and wai in your

upbringing or background did hurt you so much that

a human being like myself should be considered

by the world, in the company of your presence,

not a gentle soul of lovable instincts but, rather,

a violently mistaken paranoid schizophrenic?


For if my condition is considered to be final and cut

by the drying tick-boxes of psychiatric manual,

and my problem in life is because I don’t have a job,

and my reality and my two-facedness that

you suggest is my being has nothing at all

to do with your leaving me solo, without your

easily given touch (if at all you had wanted to)

during decades of life together, then all I can say


what could have happened if we had been lovers

in much the same way as lovers of grand


Would I really have fallen ill?

Do you really think I would have done?

And is the spell which I’ve really fallen under

the gorgeous four days of love with my lover

that time we never discuss now,

or the weirdest thirty years that have driven

me to madness; to sadness; to badness; to

baldness; to mistrusting people I easily find


Is the siren my dear K – or has it been

you all along?

And did you really not speak to the man in

the white coat – or was something

slyly indicated to break any chance I had

of escaping a diagnosis that destroyed my

whole life as you drew me back home for

such terrible reasons wai

which I only imagine might have

hurt you so badly that the real paranoid

soul is not the man you see before you but the


you now see –

as I do more clearly –

behind and about the mother and wife I never understand once more?


And ultimately I do need to find out that wai:

and ultimately you know this, I know:

and ultimately you refuse to find out that wai:

and ultimately I’m sad in my love of your being –

and fearful, as you surely are, of what

may be dis-

covered from the past you run so fiercely away from:

from the home that did you so much harm.


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