Three Sketches

I –

A calcinated cliff towers over the wood
Riddled with caverns and within those
caverns, we find more caverns, the walls
Are made of caverns and the floors
Well, little difference there with an abyss
If I’m honest. The clouds dragging
themselves over the earth set up
A tone, with a little liquid and a vibration
Which gets the lightwaves shivering
And humming, with all the depth of oceans
And it blasts through into the very skeleton
Of the plateau, into the brain of the earth
Blasts it right up until the moment when
It almost shivers apart. Then waterfalls
Fall, crash down along the paths of thought
Filling it all up slowly with a mercurial
Liquid, the liquid of worth. It brims
brims with all of value, even the chasms
Blackness seems somehow fuller.
And that’s music.

II –

We watch as it happens;
The glint descends, glistening.
It flutters and curls before landing
With a flitter just beyond hearing
Around her eyes, nesting in wrinkles
Burrowing deeper, I soon see it looking
Out at me, and we smile. And I know
From now on, what she wants of me.

III –

Still night, dark night, night
To tempt the stars to a long flight
Or to give it up and fall, crash
To earth or ocean, falcon fast
Fitting snugly into the mineral
Dance and swirl of all nocturnal
Dust, but the air is still and thick
It waits, quietly, rainless in
The fug that stillens everything.

The Sun

The sun my angel rise on an autumn morning
This is the allegory. Seemingly unchanged
A sea of dark grey shades, an orange tint
This first morning mourning, the light of a firefly
Suspended on that sad height the sun, glows
The word glows with a sad inability to match
Who has set the atmosphere on fire?
I fear the dark fire of the winter which,
I fear all seasonal signs and portents
Be it leaves on the floor, a frozen sheet

Crab-line Lesson

Drawing up crabs out
Of vast black swimming
Depths – I killed limpets

With a borrowed knife
I stuck the hook through
And my conscience

Twitched with the piercing –
Unknown primal guts
Dripped onto fingers

I dropped the line quick
And after minutes
Of my stunned-keen gaze

I brought them up – they
Faded from the rift,
Scrabbled bright plastic

Murk green crabs, my brothers
The adults taught me
How quick to catch them

I deep-stared at them
With them, swam the pool
A fear taken hold.

I threw them back in.

Dove Makes a Home Visit

Dove, glid
over feathers

“crow, you,    mess
made a mess
no you’ll make things worse
don’t speak

eat your worms
I’ll    later, with the nurse
she wasn’t happy. last time

crow what will we do with you
kill you
its okay     look at me
aaaah
don’t pick your scabs
aaaaah

back soon
back soon      i know
i know
bye”

then with a sigh, she heads next door
where a god lies sleeping
in a pool of his own dried vomit

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk

Material queue sieved for death by death
each waiting – these
things – for ease let’s call them people;
candles of corpses, yes, yes
don’t follow 
them
we follow them and

The sea’s gelatinous foam tells
them just how welcome (with surface
clinging to surface and the wind, by tension
dreary and wearisome this forsaken country.
was the scum of livid weed on the dark
greasy surfaces of the sullen waters.
Dead grasses and rotting reed loomed up in the mists
like ragged shadows

most welcome in this swelling tide
for there is no evil here –
there is only this mercurial life

You and me, and also
world-endings, chance gifts of death,
to bevel slowly a sound to a knife edge
where one of them (of us) stands alone
on the iron-fold brink
come to the very midst of the dead
marshes, and it was dark
grit from the serration drag

Alone
Alone on the sunk-sending
are dead things
dead faces in the water
A fell light
all hope painstakingly lost
human stories are practically
always about one thing,
aren’t they?

Then,
Then, a suddenness on the sea-wind
brings with it a breath, one breath
they heard
a long, wailing cry
high and thin and cruel

a deep unending breath
And elgar swings his legs
to the side of the sweat-ridden sheets
reaches, grasps the rough curtains
to open a sliver of blinding sunlight and a piercing
light to blind him
pierces, morning-sun made midday
by the darkness of the nest-depression –
Anything obscene is blessed in this world and has a reward –
I ask for no reward –
only to live, Jaeger

thus – scribbles a new moon, haltingly
to arc and draw the tide
one more inhumanity to blast us
No more dragging the mass
embarrased behind –

Nothing else has changed
but the sea now runs forward,
salted tears in its eyes.
rubbing their eyes,
like children wakened from an evil dream
to find the familiar night
still over the
world

And now the in breath ends
now – hear companion-cries
to send us
Home.

Wraiths! he wailed.
Agonised listening, myth-carving
as grandparents become myths
even as remembered.
Wraiths on wings!

westering far away beyond Tol-Brandir
and a vast fire-storm in the east
with a rush the wind came upon them
burning
hissing and snarling over the marshes
burning, burning
for a moment
the night became less dark
light enough for them to see
shapeless drifts of fog
for ease lets call them people
looking up they saw the clouds breaking and shredding
and then high in the south the moon glimmered
out

* * *

leaving, alas, everyone the poorer, many bereaved or maimed and millions dead, and only one thing triumphant: the Machines. As the servants of the Machine are becoming a privileged class, the Machines are going to be enormously more powerful. What’s their next move? – Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

2 Storms

8, 3×8, Storm 6

Then, I heard the thunder would come
but mouths murmered, the top end cut
So I never really got it

Their predictions had none or less
crunch or grind to my mouth, my eyes
now the thunder here, behind woods

does the scrape that only skies do
dumps all the folds in the stratos
rattling the bin of history.

We are talking, when the thunder
comes, stops us, sets us up on posts
ready for the whip-cracks, the fright

deep fright of the millions year
dark creep of the cloud-shadow, fast
ancestor. It puts us on edge.

I love it so much I could end
arms outstretched with one last static
shock to end all shocks, to end storms.

But you still tend orchids outside
As the rain tends all other plants
then sit close and we wait breath tensed

baited with small sounds to draw out
deeper ones. Each new paradigm
storm sound to teach all others how

2, 3×6, Storm 5

Thunder comes once when I
am stood among poetry
among the old books, new

Only once, but enough
to set a featureless
day in stone memory.

Some More Waterfall Poems

2, 7×7, Waterfall

What blood of the land is this
that surges over stone, steams
over a thin film of light
the river’s wrapped in, rippling
what hidden force vomits it,
Lurch from dark of reflection
crawl under the hot sun sprawl

Its brown gold gleam is not seen
even scalding caramel
boils darker, and slower. Here
the froth bangs and scatters. There
all the deeper brown darks drag
dead branches across fathoms
where speeding rapids disperse.

Waterfall, 4, 6×3

By virtue of water
Dark ink flows from my pen
feathers float by – also

The sound of the air fills
with that relaxing spray
and constant tear-shiver

Last night pins and needles
struck me body lengthwise
to calm after the drive.

But now that same water
is a different shape
shields me from sun with noise.