My brothers were silenced when they spoke against the ones who came
into our villages, searching for anyone they could blame for the dictator's
latest obsessions. Every cul-de-sac grew tufts of blood-stained grass, asterisks
of coiled wire, moats where we could see the last shape their bodies held,
seizing and exhaling stars. Night after feverish night I push needle and thread
through pieces of linen, cutting holes for sleeves and openings for the neck
and head. I dream about how each will wear these shirts at the next
threshing festival and dance in the square with a girl. But my fingers
tear out the seams, start over again, despairing of getting it right.
Everyone hides in their huts at sundown. Rifles march in the streets.
The moon rises and the sound
of wings fills the window--- my voice
a shroud I throw into the sky.
Up, and a meeting extraordinary there was of Sir W. Coventry, Lord Bruncker, and myself, about the business of settling the ticket office, where infinite room is left for abusing the King in the wages of seamen. Our [meeting] being done, my Lord Bruncker and I to the Tower, to see the famous engraver, to get him to grave a seale for the office. And did see some of the finest pieces of work in embossed work, that ever I did see in my life, for fineness and smallness of the images thereon, and I will carry my wife thither to shew them her. Here I also did see bars of gold melting, which was a fine sight. So with my Lord to the Pope’s Head Taverne in Lumbard Streete to dine by appointment with Captain Taylor, whither Sir W. Coventry come to us, and were mighty merry, and I find reason to honour him every day more and more.
Thence alone to Broade Street to Sir G. Carteret by his desire to confer with him, who is I find in great pain about the business of the office, and not a little, I believe, in fear of falling there, Sir W. Coventry having so great a pique against him, and herein I first learn an eminent instance how great a man this day, that nobody would think could be shaken, is the next overthrown, dashed out of countenance, and every small thing of irregularity in his business taken notice of, where nobody the other day durst cast an eye upon them, and next I see that he that the other day nobody durst come near is now as supple as a spaniel, and sends and speaks to me with great submission, and readily hears to advice. Thence home to the office, where busy late, and so home a little to my accounts publique and private, but could not get myself rightly to know how to dispose of them in order to passing.
an infinite room is the grave
for the finest falling body
and irregular body
the no body to know
how to pass
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 March 1666.