Panacea

Led into halls of light I wandered
From here to there in the aisles – til the old
Aesclepius behind the counter
Gestured. There were forms to fill and when
The pen broke I asked for another.
They rummaged in pockets, then brought it
A small pencil with two worms entwined.
I signed my name, and paid. Then a girl
Took my hand and brought me softly through.

The room was frankly a bit smaller
Than would be comfortable. Panacea
Took from me my rain coat, Grey jumper
And I turned my weaker side to her
Trusting absolutely her manner
Her disconcerting eyes and warm hands
Panacea – I said – sometimes I faint
She looked at me, and from her dew touch
I felt an absolution pouring.

The hypodermus twitched – and with that
I received her in, with a faint squelch.
My muscles parted to house this clear
And salient organ amongst mine
And very soon, sent off without word,
I found myself in the cold, walking
To the barbers, musing on this debt.
These days we all owe a tithe to them
To the Old Ones and the working nurse.

Silenus

In the smooth dark the faun first arrives
Stepping from the skin of my best friend.
So much support has gone into this
And now we’re dancing and songs call out
Which older films had taught us to love.
Things swim before my eyes, and I too
swim in these moments as I placate.
We are far from home and soon will leave
For those far shores again. Oh soft time.

Drinking whisky they dream or don’t dream
As is their need. The old bottles pall
As their blood is drunk. And the sober
Watch on at the loud speeches and song
As the night becomes long. And yet still,
In this time and place where we cannot
Get precisely what we want, and feel
Pain, The smiles around us float on streams
Of lesser darknesses and heat to boil

That pool of life’s worth again. We hear
Sigur Ros sing as we change places
Again. And sit in the darkening
moments that fade. And look into eyes
We shall not see for other ages.
Silenus sits and watches smiling
Before he scratches an ear puzzled.
Something seems not quite right to his eye.
He is wrong. There is nothing wrong here

Naiad

The surface of the water opens
And the raising dome of hair splits,
A smooth plug of water draining off.
The dewy skin of the nymph is blue
And sets trails in my eyes like the sun
Bursting through clouds over the dark hills
And mountains over the cattle pass.
The lymphatic system of the rock
Shows its pale blue in her, in small pools.

Just as her body breaks the water
So it breaks me. The heather and moss
And the golden reeds in the damp sun
For hours as we walked up the falls are
No protection. I look at my friend
Sadly, and my foot joins the stream floor
My boots fill with water. I shiver
And again I shiver as her smooth
Lips touch my ear and pour in water.

Soon I am naked and my skin numb.
The valley’s and lochs of her body
Are mine for one short play of white light
In shifting nets upon the cave roof.
Then I notice the half eaten girl
With her heart hanging out but pumping,
just. Her deep eyes are dead barnacles
And they stare at the bone covered floor.
I play in their water like a child.

Cupid

Slipping through like a needle through silk
comes cupid’s static shock of a bolt
except the silk is me, and this slip
is only the beginning. My heart
is the target, and this tracer shot
soon followed by a sly and silent
shockwave that strips all trees of their leaves.
And the silence isn’t lasting – once
hit I can’t hear but for this ringing.

BOOm. I look over to see cupid
smirking slightly, his manic eyes wide
and stunned at what he has dared to do.
Then I look down at my blackened heart
steaming on the floor, pumping its last.
I go to pick it up, try to force
it back in my chest. But my hand meets
a hand. My stomach drops out now, too
and I start sobbing as I look up

“God damn it cupid, you f*** I don’t
believe this not again already…”
But it’s too late. Her eyes are soldered
into my brain before I can gasp
or change where I’m looking. My limbs shake.
Oh – she says – I thought I’d just help you
pick this up. I try to form a smile
but instead collapse into a heap.
Oh of course. You don’t know what you’ve done.

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.

Jedi

In her thoughts, light takes the place of the sword.
Through each shiny corridor of plastic – flows
this thing we call our movement but is one;
the blueness and the redness cancel out here
and everything bathes in sparks and faint pastel
glow. Years of training, tribulation has led
to the point where each prediction unfolds
hyperdriven stars of prediction. And she knows
all coordinates in the force indicate this one point.
Where time moves and vanishes. It is life.
Or an end if you want to call it that. This light
side her opponent cannot grasp. Snapped in
on the moment too much and the feel of sword
cutting through metal and skin. There is more
to a fight than winning it. That is the dull phrase
but more. Gaining from this loss all the power
by choosing to elevate choice into its finale.
To a watcher this fight is not spectacular unless
you know each feint, each test contains millennia.
This is the secret the ones in black cannot grasp
confined to the red lights of this world by greed
fear, anger, hate, suffering. The light side has this
but not just this. Watch as the robe hits the floor.
And a million new hopes unfold from it.