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,

and forgive.

 

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)

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