A Natural History of Destruction

In the beginning, something was destroyed
at least it seems that way
and something else rose outwards.
Sky-sized waves follow the instant
an ocean meteor impacts, and ricochet –
the planet at great speed becomes
Something Else – because all ends
are also beginnings, no law is more
certain. What more do things have to say
about destruction – all else is lists
of the long fall of the satellite from orbit
and the short cracks as the overhang weakens
the instant a fish first knows the harsh net.
In my end is my beginning
Is false because the I must end
For something else to begin – materials
work upon themselves some magic
which brings others to the house party
where clear sands contain rotten liquids!
Our whole civilisation is a harvest
of destruction, even in its peace, when
blackbirds sing the lay of the worm’s
redescription in branches in the sun.
And nature also, this vast restructuring
where some shapes lose what others
gain – a magpie flies as the sun dips
its smooth light onto the striated oak
and on and again until the end of this
and the beginning of something else
and we can’t often tell the difference.

On Beauty

Considered with reference to bodies

Standing water, in the cold night
reflects the crisp moon,
thin stars in the eye’s quiet corner

In its shallows the dark leaves rot
starving greens and wriggling things
’til stillness reigns

There is only so much you can get
from a reflection –
just ask these dying flowers on the shore

But a river – god damn it
just look – look at that flow
It goes where it wants to

But slip up, take a photo
and there! It’s a pool again.
For gods’ sake delete it

Let us leave all our still disasters
a night of stars, devastated
without their flutter, their refocus and shift

and lay paper puppets, torn and sullied
by the fire which crackles with time
and burns with everything you needed

[Beyond Literature]

Beyond literature
crystal latticed books
interface in halls
so vast the humans
have been lost, always.

Every sentence starts
and ends with a whole
life, a human life,
short simulated
and in the centre

the books turn about
a spine – which is real
human spinechord cut
and spun from the tears
of ancient servers.

You do not ‘read’ books –
You must choose but one,
and it only seems
that way – in cold fact
it was built for you.

So tear your heart out
at the plug – thousand
eras dawn and die
to build its climax;
it is perfect life.

Sea Memory

I do not remember
as if it has sunk deep
or diffused within me –
my first visit to sand
and sea – ever – as if
my genesis is now –

as if I were born out
of my sea memory –
as the long horizons
shone in the sea’s tearings
I materialised
crashed in, filling this space

Bath

This and the next few poems were rejected from the Poetry Review. I really don’t like resubmitting poems, it feels like the moment has gone. So I will send these on into the aether, rather than having them sat in a black case with other miscellaneous papers.

I don’t mind that they were rejected. Why be sad that one person is not in the right mood to hear what you were saying, or doesn’t like your clothes, or just isn’t open to you. That doesn’t change what you have to say. Why be sad that your picture doesn’t hang nicely amongst the others. It just means it doesn’t fit there. Paintings are beautiful even leant on the wall in the attic with a layer of dust. My own space is wherever I am. Like here.

And also Rebecca Tamás said she liked them, so I was happy anyway!

Bath

“If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches” – Rilke

I
There’s nothing really wrong now, per say.
The day was good – disjunct as often
with the day I thought that it might be.
As I wait for the bath to fill up
the room fills with warmer, wetter air.
Not to begin on the day hoped for.
There is just a lightness missing – mist
takes the windows. Empires have been won
and lost because of this wistfulness.

II
My body floats ever so slightly.
The deep element we were borne from
laps my chin as if to say nothing –
is enough, and indeed it is, better, yes.
The sweat beads run out to meet it here
they orbit my body, salts dancing.
Is that enough? To attempt to think
in the calmest way. The figure: still
sea glitters in the sun’s soft twilight.

III
Now – a new series of figures pass;
the wind blowing of trees in dusk dark.
the grey boiling of a deep sea vent.
small blank fish in Mariana black.
a blinding light as torn blinds open.
an ache in the neck which fades slowly.
a small smile quickly dances outward.
A last hope was that bath – just know it.