Ossa on Pelion…

Lullaby – by Jenny Joseph

Only when we are in each other’s arms

Babies or lovers or the very ill

Are we content not to reach over the side;

To lie still.

To stay in the time we’ve settled in, that we’ve


Like a gourd of its meat,

And not, like a sampling fly, as soon as landed

Start to our feet,

Pulling one box on another, Ossa on Pelion;

Getting the moment, only to strain away

And look each day for what each next day brings us:

Yet another day;

Pleased with the infant’s health and the strength of

      its frame

For the child it will grow to,

The house perfected, ready and swept, for the new

Abode we go to,

The town in order and settled down for the night

The sooner for the next day to be over,

The affair pushed straight away to its limit, to leave

      and notch up

Another lover.

Lie still, then, babies or lovers or the frail old who

In dreams we carry

Seeking a place of rest beyond the crowds

That claim and harry.

We are trying to reach that island for the festive


Where our love will stay –

Waylaid, prevented, we wake as that vivid country

Mists into day.

Stay on this side of the hill.

Sleep in my arms a bit longer.

This driving on will take you over the top

Beyond recall the sooner.


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