Your Hands Have Blood on Them
From: The Bird of Paradise (RD Laing – 1967)
Men can destroy the humanity of others,
remember your hands have blood on them
you’ve been told as much
that will corrupt you and destroy you
with unadulterated compassion.
How do you plug a void?
Just don’t ask for trouble
remember your place in the hierarchy
and that last desperate clutch.
Do not despair – the soul dies before the body.
When the writer from Rio
lost his treasured notebook
his head started to feel
like a blood-filled bath.
It wasn’t the loss of shopping list
or the plot for his next novel
that most preoccupied the mind,
just the writerly thought about the
paper-based metaphor for death.
Henry is a writer, poet and mental health essayist based in Somerset in the UK. He has a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Birmingham. He is the author of several poetry collections and his work can be seen in Pure Slush, Lunate, and Synchronized Chaos, among other places.