Boiling An Egg With T.S.Eliot

In my egg is my beginning
The egg neither scrambled nor fried
Neither poached nor en cocotte
But parboiled for four minutes ’
Four grains of sand
From time’s blood-stained beaches.

In the sand of the egg timer
Trickling gravitationally
Through the still point at its centre
Is my present and my future;
There is no now, not now
Not now, how now, what now?
Do I repeat myself?

There is a time for toiling
And a time for boiling
As the east wind rattles the wainscot
And the dog howls in the garden
Beside the brown river coiling to the sea
Bearing chicken coops and plastic bags
To distant destinations.

The water boils to a purgatorial heat
The egg protests like a foetus in a smoker’s womb
While the liquid of the unborn chick
Thickens inside the whitening albumen
Silently changing and not changing
Within the skin within the shell
Sempiternal, the yolk made flesh.

If you come now, if you come
To sit between the cornflakes and the muesli
In the fog over the kitchen table
You will witness the agony
Of the surgeon’s knife
Slicing through the eggshell,
Exposing the holy egg-wound within;

And now the marmite soldiers
Invade the headless egg
Transferring the booty
To their unregenerate host
And the egg and the egg-head are one.