Icarus

I dove into my phone screen and saw
a dark sub-ocean coordinate
array. And deep in there, on the floor
a body lay. A small child’s, with bone wings.
I swam deeper, pulled on by sunken
stretches of blank curiosity
to touch the faintly drifting feathers
on the salt pool’s slick gradient skin
and caress the pearly eyes of him.

Small white suns in the skull’s curved paunch
I saw a face distorted by love,
love of the new, of being’s faint tricks.
Such tools we build ourselves which fail
in their dull original purpose
as we mould ourselves into new loves
new desires. And unfelt weirdnesses
which creep up on us like sharp sunlight.
Before I could move my air ran out.

I am dedalus, my own father
and I told myself I should stay hid
from the blue light of screens at night time
but here we are, again, myself trapped
deep in the trench level, and me here
waiting for the slip realisation.
in the sky, the faint edges of clouds
provide a reference, a soft guideline.
They see the faint splash, and carry on.

Crow Absolved

The feather pile in the bin moans
I say, it’s okay, you Crow.
It’s okay. Sleep now.
A last few syllable caws come –
“I’m saw-ree” and I am exhausted by
The real difficulty of innocence
almost impossible
but just
possible

With a faint clinking
the bird bones roll in the wind
taking up shapes
and finally gusting off as sand
dissolving into heaven
or whatever there is

God is there with me in a wheelchair
and Dove,
and we all three cry
for the darkness
and the beauty
and the coldness that has come.

Dove has the last word.
She writes in the sand with her branch
‘absolution’

The Letting go of Crow

Across the courtroom, Crow sits
His black feathers litter the floor,
a hearse of mahogany boards.

Arraigned by the universe, he is bound
to try some old tricks – but Dove,
his opposite and cancellation, now

stands with a sigh, coos and points.
On the projector the horse’s dark body
whose beautiful and terrible hooves

are tied. “Did you create this nightmare?”
Crow’s mouth opens, and out pour stars
Books, portents. Series of things fleeing.

Crow feather-bunches up into fists
little tight handfuls of blackness.
He parrots back “Nightmare, nightmare”

Dove sighs again, changes the slide.
A schedule for housework – “and these,
your claw marks but I see…

Crow your name is not here.
Do you think a horse deserves
this kind of torture?” Oh bright Dove.

By this point all Crow’s feathers
are out. He’s a plucked little terror.
Dove just looks sad. “Sweep that up, please.”

They work, while Crow is croaking
“god’s nightmare. god’s. violent…”
But it’s too late. I’m leaving.

Walking past the curled up
wormlike bird on the stand, and out,
I drop my copy of the book in the dullness,

hold open the door and Dove walks with.
Her feathers’ pearlescence gallops across.
We talk about her day, and I make her tea.

Nuptial Flight

We talked for a while and then
I breathed you in, by accident
and like an insect you got lodged
in my throat – I had to swallow
repeatedly to even take stock
of the situation – how your oil
black hair was limp in the heat
and its one colour rainbow sheen
of sun coated me with a sweat.
I digested your little carapace
and now I twitch like a dry
and dying wasp in the porch…
Frankly, my dear, I would most love
to sting you but I am waxy –
look what you’ve brought us to
with your callow disregard
of how you fill the air, and land
in droves on my shirt – cracked
and uneven paving stones are no
solace – get off me, get off, get off.

On Ulysses

The voices are everywhere. There
They are crawling from the dead
Floater in the bay and taking flight.

The wet walls and eaves are speaking
Can you not hear them – again, it’s happening;
Damp mortar discourses on ibn sinna.

Each wave is its own word
And they pile upon pile upon pile –
we drown in the snotgreen sea

Where a deep priest and thousand-fold choir
Speak tongues to discourage the wanderer
unwilling to take a breath and stay.

Republican

The deep-house beats fall
From the window – hit
sunbeams combing the heat
Fall down simmering streets

It’s royal wedding day – but I
Can only focus on this
bunch of dead flowers
Strapped to a lamp-post

The cellophane wrap flutters
Around the dry remnants
Framed by estates and hills
And glints from windscreens

I’m not saying something,
Shocked by the light’s irradiacy
The faintly dissonant organ
Of which echoes softly pour