Grange-over-sands

The quicksand and sea of mud
and the sea itself, running
with cold skies as long and deep.
Trees step out from cobbled banks
and the train’s rumble stirring
the café in the pale house –
I cannot escape from this

barbaric lyric’s enclave –
with the way that the world goes on
why can I still find this peace?
Maybe I should have chosen
to be the gull, the shaggy
dog in the rail underpass
whose soft songs betray no-one.

V.81

Sunlight pours onto the woods like
a proprietary logo,
And my movement changes, I am
now able to jump slow and high,

The trees are so crisp, they are cut
from the woods and become assets –
a simple tap and hold of A,
and the wood, leaves, something would be

mine. How well the code works, how well
the random terrain generates –
seeding nettles and cow parsley
over the seasonal bluebells.

How smoothly the particles fall,
how elegant the light engine,
how quirky are the NPCs –
here comes one now, out on a jog –

How quaint! I begin an event,
someone talks and I miss the prompt –
failing the conversation. I
activate my door and head in.

Congratulations! You have found
poplars today. The next level
begins tomorrow. One percent
completion remains an odd myth.

V.80

Memory danger. It’s a pinch.
They’re in our heads, in our bodies
They could strike at any time. Know:
Memories are dangerous things.

They wrench our heads through time, it’s worse
even than the ground opening
and letting you plummet away.
Just to jangle from side to side

from rock face to rock face – insults
raining from their mouths. “Good lord, boy,
Call that falling!? A downy scrap
of feather would do it better.

Call that hitting your head? Go on…
Pull the other one! Try again –
Oof but that was okay, good byeeee!
AND THE DARKNESS SWALLOWS YOU UP.

So melodramatic, but yeah.
It’s like the world is scattered all
with massive invisible traps.
Bear traps with a ghost chain attached.

And then you drag the ghost around
as it complains mightily – “Please,
I’m as tired as you, my liege. But
can’t you stop that racket I’m sick”

V.79

See all the souls anchored to you
each faint and crackling golden line
like a nylon line, but neater,
each is a life you’ve saved in here.

You look like a heaven-flower
like an aurum tree. The fire-work
frozen in time, on the blue black
all the still-paths, the fizzing strings.

The key to self-hood is the gap
between what we would like to be
and what is. These things are all sent
to test us, see: to build us up

Without these moments we would fall
again, into the depths of hell
which is a flat, blank, pool of white
like milk. But tastless, vigorless.

Humans need this pain to grow full.
If there was fruit hanging from each
tree, we would never need to think,
never need a revelation.

And so, these two things connect us.
These metallic wires, our trellis.
To be saviour to each other
And see what newness can encroach

Ships and Stars V – Experiment

After accomplishing feats beyond our far sight with compounds that behave like emotions, growing crisp if left alone in rain – time travel was begun.

We did not realise at first. When we become this complex, new things often appear first as violent accidents – the death of 2 by light

speed, unexpected. More – death of 1 by extreme gravity, of sudden onset, quite a surprise. With time, it was the same. The girl was unprepared.

When sped up that vastly the speed of earth through space becomes quite a sight; her laboratory jumped up, blazed like a star and was gone. No-one ever knew

V.73

I hear the year’s first owl, I see
the summer evenings of wide eyes
come to me, hot on the covers.
I smell and hear the summer come

in dark night at spring’s beginning.
In the parks, people can perform
their social media, can get
the right light, and the right shot done

with the intermittent flash thing
on a stick. Or take photos of
nature, such as it is, confined
within the bounds of the black fence.

The crown-bearer virus is swept
basculating into the rare
and transformative air of the
space between minds, within the park

It propagates everywhere now,
’til every object collapses
into a simulacra full
of small and spherical crystals

They are spraying from the fountain
They are clinging to your damp hands
If you listen you can hear it
their small and terrible prayer

V.72

Being in love with you is like
wrongly putting the recycling
in the black bin, but liking it.
And the rubbish in the green bin,

but liking it. Being in love
with you is like getting my ears
syringed, and I can hear a range
of high and annoying tones I lack

at any other time, but it’s great.
It is knowing that any mar
Of my ears is now down to meat
asymmetry, rather than wax –

You reveal my material
defaults, simply by existing.
Being in love with you is like
accepting the judges’ avis

despite knowing that taste and all
aesthetic sensation is based
on subjective judgements, grinding
my teeth to get out that word ‘good’,

sitting in the cold waiting room
on the almost unused sofas
shivering with nerves, until I
hear your voice call out ‘we’re ready’