Poetry 22 August 2018 The NS Poem: In Two Minds A new poem by Clive James. Flickr Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up A change of aspect. Out in the garden now The pools of rain take extra territory And keep it. Winter will come again: The rain-soaked sunlight strives to slow it down But can’t for long. Such glittering prospects are still grim for me Save when I long to leave, but in that lies The paradox. Oblivion ought not To look so good, a parent shaking toys Above the cot’s rail to extract a smile Of wild delight. At this rate, what with so much shining warmth, Just add a few birds and spring would be here Again. Remember it? Who can forget All that renewal in so little time? Perhaps now it will never stop, the slide To nothingness. Isn’t it something, though? So cool, so clean: The way the flagstones, gleaming from the drench, Reflect a light that could be from the sun, Granted the sun were visible. Low clouds Wrap up where the blaze burns. The way the world Will look without you Is in the showroom now, dressed to the nines, And I am in two minds: all set to go, Mad keen to stay. The second, I fear, still Outweighs the first. Today I signed the form That says I want no tube stuck down my throat Should I need that to keep on drawing breath: But what if I Can still look out and see the shining rain? › Respecting Aretha: how Detroit public radio paid homage to a soul legend Clive James (1939-2019) was an Australian author, critic, broadcaster and poet, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, his chat shows on British television and his prolific journalism. He contributed several original poems to the New Statesman. Subscribe £1 per month This article appears in the 25 August 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Will Labour split?