Friday Poem – ‘Doxology’ by Dai George

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Doxology’ by Dai George from his collection Karaoke King.

The cover of Karaoke King shows a drawing of a teenage boy wearing a red and brown stripped vest and white shirt. His glasses are crooked and he is wearing a crumpled yellow crown.

Dai George’s confident second collection Karaoke King, addresses the contentious nature of the times. Always deeply thoughtful but also alternately ebullient, angry, curious, ashamed, the poet moves through urban and digital spaces feeling both uneasy and exhilarated. There is a feeling of history shifting, as a younger generation confronts its ethical obligations, its sense of complicity and disappointment. Ecological crisis hovers in the background. Karaoke King also contains numerous reflections on popular culture, culminating in ‘A History of Jamaican Music’, a sequence at the heart of the volume speaking to urgent contemporary questions of ownership and privilege, pain and celebration. 

Blessings flow, through narrow fields, a weir
finds restitution as it falls.
Tightroping gulls, the crumbling edge
is anxious as they slip and cling to show them
peace below. I number the blessings
in a split and democratic sky.
The clemency of inland water.
The resourcefulness of creatures left to try.
Blessings flow, but trouble finds me
in the impasse after rain. I mean democratic
as an argument that neither side can win.
Praise grass from which the pylons ship
invisible cargos that I wait upon
unthinkingly, an emperor inured to the hand
that serves him fruit.
You’ll find little god here but demanding
drifts of pollen, little trouble but a boy
whose dream last night was of a concert
and his frozen voice.
The gulls find trouble in a moment
they can’t trust, a wind that smashes them aloft
then drops beyond the river.
Obstacles and carrion,
fluidity and rest, a hatchling woken
in its nest of foil. The parliament still warring
through its agonies of choice,
the hustle never ending
nor the trouble nor the joy.

Karaoke King is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy direct from us.

Earlier this year, Dai George put together a playlist of songs that tie in with poems from Karaoke King. Take a look here.

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