Peter Chapman Poetry

walking around the funny farm

the money's gone after a hundred years
and the big trees ease their silent guard,
the desks go on the trucks

this summer afternoon
calls in the air, the worried love

if souls dance, these did

hats pulled firm and long dresses
stepped from heavy cars
to the tiled halls and green walls,
gay and sombre reasons heard
in the slow steps, the hurried steps

and as i walk in the unmowed grass
by the old buildings
whose hooded eyes one was always caught in here,
June murmurs its lassitude,
the sweet ascent of how it was

loading the trucks, the workers laugh

then with the rise of something long ago,
from Greek or Roman tragedy
like a spear passing me, comes a scream

across the afternoon, alarm of an old dream,
bound to the rail and drugged to sleep,
tra-la from the chords of crazy praying
and up, just the way they were always saying