Poetry

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So To Life

To death-
the drink
the cigarettes -life
taken for granted
I offer it to you.

I have wrapped it
in a little bow
and sat it
at your door.

One of these days
you will be home.

Outside-
your windows
my reflection -pale
as colours run
I’m looking in.

Again I marvel
at your decor,
a child, fearful,
ear to the floor.

Burning with the want
to look away, I look on

transfixed-
a vehicle burning,
a tower block, burning -stomach
neither filled with laughter
nor air, just sick

and churning.  What I have become
is churning; a churner of moments,
wiler of days
wiling away

till all hopes of return
like lovers at the gate, have gone.

So to life-
your beauty
your potential -the theatre
of my mind
shrunken mockingly small,

I owe it to you
to make the most
of the curtain flesh
drawn back on this modest ghost.

The less I daily mock you,
the more quickly I become you.

With deep bows

I thank you.

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Woodsmoke

It was on a bridge between

the millpond of autumn

and winters tide

that we met.

 

Fall soft you spoke

the scent of woodsmoke

with but one real regret,

a life hard as bone yard ground

stemming a shadows wake behind you.

 

You spoke the thief light breeze,

fondly peeling boxed windows

that opened moth wing silver

onto half-lit theatres

of birch tree.

 

My brain spun.  The axis, the senses.

Hawthorn,  blackthorn and catkin o’ beech.

You pulled me through those let wild hedgerows

through litter leaf and surrendered summer seats

to temples of your regret.  Once more, your feeling

 

that regret. Blinded so, so you would not see

that you had helped a single being

-that being,

being me.

 

I will think of you when I smell woodsmoke through trees.

 

Dedicated to Colin McIntosh, 196_ – 2011

To School With The Boy

His pencil-case is as chock-full as his head

with colour.  I find myself in envy

of his freedom.

 

There is no skateboard today

due to frost – yet ‘spite frost

he glides above ground,

above a pavement

plastered  paper

by departed leaves.

 

He waves to tide pools of friends

as they alight cars

and their parents arms.

 

The lollipop lady burns like a star

in her jacket and a terrier

in a tartan coat shouts

at his charge.

 

I wave at the boy through the laughing

of the school gate.  He enters

the warmth of youth

as I turnabout

to seek out

cheap coffee.

Cancer

That there was a form of near death

growing in her beautiful breast

did not take away from

days tinged with light,

autumnal.

 

That the frost would frighten

leaves from trees, undressing

twigs till bare and branches,

there by her caravan

the sea,

 

Oh the sea, its air.

That its air saturated our lung

and the sand whipped up by the breeze

languished in our being during that sacred time

we would persist -perennial- in the shape of waves and the pattern

 

of  clouds.

 

Dedicated to my Helen ‘Mu Ma’ Graham

On The Beach, Paralysed

To those times when I entrusted my body

in all its gravity, with all its cargo

to the delighted arms of sleep,

cockcrow forgotten senses

bound carefully tight,

I thank the ocean

of the mind

for swallowing me down,

chewing me up

and spitting me out again

in bubbles.

No More Cakes

That the griddle became far too heavy and the kitchen
Far too far from the arm chair, increasingly dark and stoury
The cupboards became naked and no longer rich

In broken-blind autumn light, filtered now and stripped
Of glory, Her hands once busy like wings busy flitting, weakened
No longer kneading or rolling or hand picking glace cherries
Placing straight into our mouths, no longer at the weekend
Myriad tastes of ages sweet and windfall merry

Each and every ascent of that happy knoll now memories
Of a castle swathed in candied clouds, a rising overture
Through allotments and bird huts to that heaven of organ sounds
Sewn fall flowers, amber and antique black forest furniture

There will be dreams always of her sitting there, saying partially awake
“My boys, from this day there will be no more cherries, no more cakes”

Please Come Back Tomorrow

please come back tomorrow
dressed like the tide
at high noon

come back with the seas green
highlights in your hair
just as soon

as you can for I am lonely
here on dry land. I dare
not push out alone

for the dreadful horizon has already
swallowed, in a mouthful wide
the midday sun.

On Dreaming Of An In Between Place

that I am dying
or dead, I fear again
the dream that I am gone.

You are standing there
or instead, our son. He sighs
telling me that only one of you could come.

I know that I am in fact sleeping
in bed, though reverie overtakes me
making both blood and skin colours run.

He is standing then
in your stead, speaking loud, saying clear:
“we both love you but she thought this must be done…

…How must we live?  What must I say, on my return, to mum?”

Live” I say.

“Live and live on”

Haiku #6

the word erotic
drips from the tongue like honey-
petals and dew drops

There Is An Urge In Me

there is an urge in me
to beat brick by brick
from the dormant wall
holes from which I might trail
a harrowing shape in the dark
mixing right with rain fall
the sensation of dust blood
and spray from viscid lungs
the diffused street light luster
as past presses toward the head
and future pools syrup thick
with the last of that man brain

there is an urge in me
to sure and properly dissolve
the cells trill from porous bone
amassed muscle and sinew ragged
hanging and flag like from that stoop
so many vine knots and ivy licks
not more distinct from
fossil trees and weary climbers
that no-me that assimilates with trellis
and the dark sockets of my once-eyes
receiving flowers and insect callers
now-rib cage relaxed and open to the deluge

Refuge In Your Eyes

I have for the third time this evening taken refuge in your eyes.
I have left my chair and came to the bed
And lay down by your side.
I have twice placed my head upon your lap
And once, at an awkward angle,
Upon your thighs.
Each time you have smiled for me.
Each time you have borne
A pleasant hole in me.
Each time I have stood again with the strength of mountains
Convinced of my imperviousness
To further landslide.
Each time -yes,
I have from a pebble
To a boulder
To an avalanche as big as time
Returned to you to confide:
I am again small.
I am again lost.
Take me again like an ocean
And dissolve me in your tide.
Pull apart my phantom fissures
Down through fathomless rivers
And let the small mind explode
Inside deep, secret pressures.
Wash me up on your shore
And remind again this man
Ever bent on your treasure
That as an ocean
You are but reflection for the sky.
For the fourth time this evening I will have taken refuge in your eyes.

Sleeping Alone

the doughy round of your nose
nuzzle-burrowing as it does
my bewhiskered neck
I miss it so
sleeping
alone

the cottony caress of your yawn broken breath
blowing as it does, midsummer breezy
my threadbare open chest
It is not easy, you know
having to sleep
alone

the butterfly blare of your blinking
beating as it does
my back rubbed
I miss it so
sleeping
alone

Haiku #5

gently apply heat
bubbles will surface slowly
boiling suddenly

And Mine is a Blossom

And mine is a blossom in falling hours
reaching branch and placid heart dripping
a place where root a forgotten flower
a spoil of vision
porcelain and soothing
a coil of light to follow me.

And mine is a blossom under midnight stalks
bare foot and gold hair dancing
a blue harvest for hazy followers walk
stars make their incision
open and soothing
a coil of night to comfort me.

And mine is a blossom under nectar rain
salty wrists and rose licked garden
a land sloped by the driving vein
the soil on candle
hard and carving
a coil of colour to carry me.

Untitled Piece Concerning The Night

It is nighttime and my garden is the beauty.
The creaking fences are Blake’s beast
and the stars are rain on his malformed shoulders.

It is night indeed as the flowers are unbending,
dripping their nectar between parted toes.

It is nighttime, I say, as my sojourn is a journey.
The steps and the trellis are my ladders,
a crutch to the summit of dawns lowly masturbator.

For You

There is no such river or ocean of this world
(temporary, to which we pass through)
that I would not in a single breath
sink to its greatest depth
and rise again
for You

no mountain cliché
that I could not overcome
in a single test of my love
for You

I would go
one step further than hell
walking into the dark of Wal-Mart
for You

YOU
for whom stars collide
and new worlds are born
in my minds eye

I shall live in the dark of my inner world
(seated, legs crossed in yogic poise)
counting each and every breath
as if held back from death
and be born again
for You

-For Julie

Haiku #4

lantern in the rain
autumn pools over flowing
he sings his stories

-For Da Wen

Consume

The fatigue of blood,
the disburden of man skin
and people bone,
the marrow of matter
spread tenderly across the floor-
the wolf at the door
is but yourself
scratching to get inside.

Haiku #3

Q if I were paper
where is it I would be?
A I’d still be a tree

Zoopraxiscope

the line of carriages

that shall be my chariot

has not even left the station

yet I get the impression of motion

from behind the tilt of my old glasses

that all the world exists as a succession

of crudely drawn mixed pictographs

glyphs and children’s scribbles

random on the canvas

moved ever forward

by naught but wind

Haiku #2

trees speaking in tongues
air singing static and wild
birth pools of the storm

In My Head There Is A Hearth

In my head there is a hearth
burning at the heart of our home
you have thrown dried flowers
upon the coals and the incense carries
to every corner of that abode

Looking harder a country kitchen unfolds
steam rises from rice on an old Aga stove
whilst we discuss chi flow
vegetable gardening
and the past

You remind me as we make our way to bed
a four-poster bed of course
adorned with prayer flags and found things from the beach
a silent witness to the secret meaning of words
whispered across a pillows quiet breadth

of a poem I once wrote
during tougher times
when I dreamt oft’ of where we would be
somewhere down the line

We fall from there into the open arms of sleep
smiling and pressed against all we did ever need

Haiku #1

light spills from shared sheets
still warm from the breath of sleep
the heat of dreaming