Three Poems after Amelia Humber

Goss

After Amelia Humber

The tongue of the cosmos mouth
drags its mist along the pond
many eyes of the coral
or barnacle prayers impact
with a soft white thud and cloud
on the world’s hill – and deeper
the deep ink behind things seeps.

I stand in the softened copse
of the shore – rain drenched but warm
unnamed white flowers blow here
amongst the heather – their heads
bob and jump in the quantum
breeze – where I once might have thought
I now dwell with the land’s power.

*

Coopers

After Amelia Humber

Strobe lights over the shallows.
The marsh flows, hardly, but still
it flows here with the thin grass
so thin and black, it’s like hair.
A magnesium surface
and water, as the flock-spheres
make their debris way through air


In the mist there are things now
things you never wanted but
were offered for your viewing –
A procession of faceless
saints, a small black sheep hovers
legless, only seen in dark,
an entirely different sky

*

Point

After Amelia Humber

With a faint humming, negate
the sky as an unreached space
(a space we can hardly grasp)
and split open a vault – to
the dark above the grave pit
ridden with frost and snowlit
pourings – through this chasm tear


see the world as it could be
bare of all ground, all solids
floating in nothingness – then
between abyss and abyss
as it sees you – iris
vaster even than god’s eye
and the pupil that screams ‘live’

*

Painting credit to https://www.ameliahumber.com/

Two Bus Poems

I

Every day bar some
the bus comes sometime, stops.
A law as certain, now
as the coming of night
of day, of suns, novas.
And people wobble on it.

I sit on the top floor
it feels safer up here
and I think of your face
whom I meet at the stop
on the odd occasion.
I think of the bus crash

where the corner taken
slightly too fast ended
In an event survived
by two of us alone.
The tragic accident
With one happier dream;

as we stare for months from
plaster casts at open
eyes across the room – heads
in a cartoon-like wrap –
your eyes like oil vents loosed
and set fire in the night

And that oil drains downward
to soak our sweat drenched casts
our two hospital beds
in the desert, they melt
and we walk slow to meet
and this under dark rain

burning rain – we are one
we were only standing
sparsely chatting back then
now we melt into
puddles of each other – and
the dark oil rolls onwards.

II

Your fingers tap cleanly
on the deep red plastic
suitcase – where will it end!?
I would say hi, open
the suitcase of futures
allow random packings

to array themselves – smile
you smile as I walk by
the bus’s lit windows.
It had to be raining.
Now, not only can I
not skateboard but dwell, too

on your face, this soft chance
which for once makes the sharp
butterfly wings softer –
an anxiety lost
and gained this idea
of our nights together

in the Sevillan shade
sharing an orange – peel
of our clothes scattered on
the warm tiled courtyard floor
as I whisper in your
deepest ear – what fragrance

The suitcase slipped out
of your grasp – rolled and I
caught it, its dimpled shell
shining under bus lights
this cavern of hard flesh –
but what am I saying.

Dame Autumn Hath a Mournful Face

After John Atkinson Grimshaw

You don’t yet know the fae.
Its church arches and bones.
It overlays on the trees
which become a seething delta

How the pools reflect black
to spite what they note above them
never sure of the horizon
your gaze wanders, unceasing

thin and twisting flowers
the green, and floating flakes of gold leaf
the faintly blue of the night
then, which slips alongside – her;

uncreasing the folds between worlds –
her insect wing-shimmer. And bright
shines one thing nakedness can do
mournfully at you, with a crown of flowers

The fae curves just like this.
It worships with patient light
that which you may worship.
If she wants you, touch the canvas.

Notes Towards a Definition of Mind

A spiderweb woven in a corner
– warm and damp corner
and as time passes, it loses spans
and falls until it is almost torn

And another spider comes
and builds another web
almost but not quite exact
to the plan of the old web

and this repeats
hundreds and hundreds of times
until looking from the corner of your eye
you think you see crystal
seas receding

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