Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
And some are treasured for their markings –
They cause the eyes to melt
Or the body to shriek without pain.
"A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", line 1; first published in The New Statesman, December 23 and 30, 1977.
In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
That snores when you pick it up.
If the ghost cries, they carry it
To their lips and soothe it to sleep
With sounds. And yet, they wake it up
Deliberately, by tickling with a finger.
"A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", line 19.
The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple – to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.