Promoting Poetry in Scotland

Happiness | edwin morgan


Oh how far is happiness. At night,

sometimes, often, when we stretch our arms

towards it, when we are alone

and even when we are not alone

and do not find it.

Where is it to be found?

There are those who would deny it, but

I do not think they command us.

One long absent, lost, will phone

abruptly, crackling over a bad line,

graceless yet tentative, drunk, washing

incomprehensively away

then clear and deadly, full of memory,

apology, joke, plea, boast —

‘Ah’m gonny sign the pledge the morra.’

‘That’ll be right.’ ‘An animal,

Ah know Ah’m an animal when Ah’m drunk.’

‘Threatened to kill me last time, remember?’

(And meant it, jabbing my chest with your

‘Kill, you know kill, K.I.L.L.’

— steaming. Why phone, then, be sorry?)

‘Ah wahnt tae see ye.’ My scalp contracts,

the phone sweats in my hand, yet somewhere

I’m loosened, melted, knowing his violence

to be his love, which I cannot reject.

It seems as if, it really really

looks as if this must be happiness.

I put the phone down. How to sleep now?

the bearsden shark | at poppy’s | heaven | my day among the cannonballs