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.

On the Stupidity of Animals

When I block of the entrance
– – You moan and whine
– – and scratch at the wood panels
– – – – I let you in
– – – – You go straight back out again

I don’t want you here
– – You don’t understand, you
– – stand with your tail
– – flowing
– – – – I take you away
– – – – you come back

I chase you with a box
– – I’m only playing
– – – – You scream the world ending
– – – – scream of the finale

I am washing my hands
– – you’re in the water you’re
– – being drowned
– – – – I turn off the tap

I walk slowly to let you divert
– – you panic in a straight line
– – in the same direction, then
– – – – a car scrapes you concisely
– – – – along the tarmac

I get tired of it all and stare out of a window
– – you fly right into the window
– – and grease it up with your feather grease
– – – – alongside the grease from my forehead
– – – – on the inner panel

I sit and type
I try to relax
– – you see me stroking the computer
– – and get jealous

I’m an enigma to you
– – that doesn’t stop you crying and
– – vibrating all over me

I am running because you seem to enjoy it
– – you’re excited, you bite me
– – – – I stop running

I pick you up to take you
where you’ve been trying to get
for hours
– – You bite me and claws out
– – you run away
– – – – but not fast enough
– – – – to avoid getting a kick

Then I feel bad
but why should I?
– – you have no respect for me as a person
– – – – I hate you
– – – – I just wanted to be
– – – – your friend

Paris Old Mosque

Tired, we wander once more
botanical pathways
comment on crows, seeders

pens holding red pandas
lazed asleep on logshade
the flowers press forward

out the back archway, then
basically clueless, we
wander around grey streets

Til up jumps the old mosque
with its blinding sun skin
we pass to shade where birds

& humans eat & drink
mint tea, seeds & pastries
we sit & read, watching

this crowding. Tile-glazed square 
dappled, shimmering. The
afternoon flutters off.