The human field of view allows
the castle to stand despite its thinness
on the hill formed of plucked trees
And the sea moving in all its weight
in its strength and then weakness.
Strength, weakness. Strength, weakness.
The seagulls search for fried fish
while I forgive myself of the past,
this new year. And find new feelings.
This civil war gatehouse with brick
and stone arches, towers, mossy tile,
helps me to understand myself:
It sits there, watching the grump
and joy of life and doesn’t quite know.
But it sits there all the same.
A rainbow slips into the bay around,
and grows brighter. We find a place
to park and at last, enjoy the sea.
I hate this slow moment most of all –
The jog down the pylon line pathway
swatting the damn flies which lick my neck,
which never land the same place again.
In the moor gloam either side of me
run streams and flow pools I could never
taste – trust me I tried. Where lignified
weeds and deep bogs block my sly attempts
the world chuckles – and I can’t stand it.
Each time I reach the rock’s resting place
I breathe deep, smell the old and empty
concrete garages of my youth-time.
Hear in my head the forgotten words
or wordless voice of the long deceased
and this directedness towards tools
– god, with no element of purpose
even then. I never learned to build.
Now push, again unsure how I feel.
My hands lost the rock, my god, the dull
rock which propogates each night within
my skull. And it flew down the incline
of this humid and reed haired hillside –
to the point where I can find no sleep
except when walking behind me, I
see me, with nothing else to guess at –
I hope, god this is not some new thing
some terrible newness they would add.
Life is an infinite sided die,
containing within it dice to reign
over all the realms of being me.
But every single throw shows up ones –
I am used to this – may it go on.
Between searching for the dull boulder
and pushing the damn thing up the hill
I think I may have got things just right.
I’ve learned to love it. Let it not change.
It happens sometimes, this odd feeling.
That things are’t quite what I thought they were.
For instance, now, on the morning bus
I sit and watch her hair making greased
marks on the windows, and feel the warmth
and the gentle rocking of the seats
this sleepy morning. And I reason
that I am happy, and that nothing
is lacking here as we cross the bridge.
But I used to want more. I used to
feel singeing terror that I would reach
this dull moment. That I would give up
wanting to murder the next lion
rampaging across the rainy hills,
or that simply seeing the Hydra
with its roiling whipknot of sharp heads
would make me feel such fatigue, make me
lie down in the darkness and wonder
But then one day I woke up. Something
had changed, and all my possibles
were scattered around me in pieces
on the mosaic floor, the old kline couch
the wicker chair, and their blood was all
I could see. That was the beginning.
Immense strength is not just for blasting –
Now I make cups of tea, get biscuits
for my collegues with a cooling ease.
I used to know I would rather die
than live like this – how often strange life
shows us with what smallness we think.
It’s really not so bad once you’re here.
The muses, grown old and decrepit
fuss around my head from time to time
making sure I’ve done this or that task –
immortality is truly real
when only the same small things repeat.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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