EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE by Barry Tebb
Desks are straining on all fours, flanks
Heaving to hurl the hunched riders
Down crack and cranny, buck
Finger-snapping lids, consume
Scrap and scribble between tongue and teeth.
The blackboard is cleaning itself behind me,
Making my neck prick as it scatters dust
Like seed, empties its clogged pores of clichй,
Anoints its carved channels and cavities
With infinite black ooze and sap.
And I don’t trust that corner cupboard!
Opening its dark doors like the jaws of
Cerberus, shelving its stacks to heave
At my head, ready to snap its quick lock
Round my wrist like a crab.
I watch the windows wink and blink,
Tug at their catches, tempt my fingers
With their openings, crack flying cords
To noose my neck; they eye the bulging roof
Beams, bent like a bow above me.
This whole room has rushed to the world’s edge,
My fingers tip its tottering walls
Braced to hold definition, floorboards
Knotted tight against infinity’s axe, doors
Bolted to contain time and place in time and place together.
I cry ‘help’ as my world whirls,
Is loosed at the single eye of heaven.