Jean François's Nodding Off



Jean-François is nodding off,
In his English class to the distant thrum
Of a past imperfect, roughly taught,
Through an eardrum pierced by a holy thought.
No searchlights could get through that fog,
So leave it out; Jean-François's nodding off.


Thank God It's Friday, weekend's come,
And his English teacher's having fun
With the unreal present;
Teacher-man is droning on,
Then spits out fire,
Like an air-raid siren, all gone wrong,
'Bout a future tense, but the eyes are limp;
No hail of tricky traitor verbs
Can cut cut cut through this thick gauze,
So keep the noise down, J-F's nodding off.


Mossy Cross

Still wounded eyelids struggle up,
To a present shot with sly conjunctions-
Run and hide; turn in; fall out;
Consciences pricked with wry compunctions-
Foxhole, cover, weapon, webbing;
Wife a-waiting, in the wings,
Future bridesmaid cries and sings,
Pulling cold hand grenade rings
Damp trenches and life ebbing,




But Jean-François is far away,
On a mushroom cloud of conditional days,
Young teacher shoots his sniper gaze,
To a bleary eye,
In a foreign field;
He's focused on
Another phase;
There is no future real in English;
Just ask... oh, Jean-François's nodded off.




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