Two Poems

Crowd

The vast pack turns now – howls
it echoes in the dark
locks of the valley cliffs.
The whole hive mind stiffens –
an enemy appears
and soon becomes shadow.

The light of the howlers
is a dim-burning light
not hot like communion –
cold; cold as hill mist tears
that graze clean the day’s grime
from forgotten arches

Running silently through
damp places on the hill
babbling under black clouds
and devouring, slowly.
At first, skin from your flesh.
And then, thoughts from your brain

Sun Worship

And as poetry dies a death
or is reborn – which is
the same, until it isn’t
And the sunlight takes on a sharpness
And the world begins again to end
quite unlike a mint falling to the floor
and breaking
cleanly in two upon the tiles
and the sheerness of thought stacks
so steeply –
Did not a roman slave walk
the dry paths of this split-cream coast
Does not this man hang such
washing as has never been bettered
in the warm air
Does not the mother walk a beach
as her dog exacts nothing from
the sea
as slow the waves pull down the coast
and the sun’s fog blurs horizons
and a thousand small discomforts –
there is still much to do
even on last days, which may fade
walking through a sliding glass door
as if to return shortly
but never returning (all this
in the sun)

Here, look up through the parasol
at the sun encased in black fabric
does this seem gaudy to you?
The prehistoric stands on a cliff
watching those same horizons
as the birdcalls change.
Ask for help from the sky-trails
as they spread into the blue.
Note the ferocious beautiful
of pre-bomb flares falling on the city
but note you may be thrown off the bus
by those who don’t understand
that a flower can exist in a wasteland.
Place your hands often on
warm heads of hair –
cope like this – in sunlit ripples
on some body of water
some body of air

Collapse

In the winter sun I saw, a gold
forest of leafless trees appear
It was warm in the shower and the wind
could be heard at night on the eaves
I played games on the evening
and in the morning I played games
The tangle of ideas has become full
and the temptation arises of a sword
Stupid people say stupid things
and I cannot be sure of my difference
I cannot be sure of the world
but I can be sure of the deep house
I drink stimulants all day,
and in the morning I drink stimulants
My heart is a construct of ideas
of the faster beat and slower thought
I cannot be sure of my body,
my thoughts of my body are dark mirrors
I hold inside me a red liquid
I hold in my hands a rare earth element
In the winter sun I saw dirt on the screen,
and the night wind brought desert dust
I am a rare earth element, they know
my paranoia grows and shrinks in ceaseless
patterns I never see coming or going
It was warm in the shower as I heard
the guitar be generated by movement
The tangle of ideas is a symptom
of competing interests conceived as a whole
I cannot be sure of the political body
as its organs revolve, unconnected

*

In the stream of time games appear
and the faint sound of choirs
Things repeat and repeat and I hold
within me this repetition and outside
the wind flicks between warm and cold
I hold my loved ones close
I hold my hands clasped in the darkness
The answers I have found to crumble
and rebuild, and repeat only in torn
forms like recycled paper used for chips
or packing paper used to wrap objects
Words lie in ranks on the tablecloth
Connections form and are lost again,
being lines between lost things
In the christmas quiet I heard peace
In the blue fire of the hob,
small fragments of history gave us heat
The world is an organic simulation
Time pours through us and damages us.
The tangle of ideas rests in parallel lines
and smooths out the kind of fear we feel
The fire is warm on an evening
the sting of heat on my legs
the sound of ancient voices from my childhood
and far off trumpets and the brightness
Another year passes, I cope more easily
In the christmas quiet I heard peace

*

And what is there to say
when all stories are noise
and all stories are equal in their relation
to the void and what is there to say
and what is worth saying
when all words are noise and void
and all stories are at risk
From day to day I tumble from this mood to that
and often forget what I have said and believed
From day to day my purse grows lighter and heavier
From day to day the world goes darker
and darker and brighter and hotter

From day to day the clouds pass over the face of the sky
and the moon’s blank eye, and I
If they do not care to save the earth
why should we care for them?
If they do not care to save the earth
why should we care for them?

*

In the end, the sun enfolds the trees
and as I gaze at the page, it watches me
Collapse is a strange thing, it threatens,
but never quite finishes with us –
my heart is a construct of golden ideas
a web, a force, a soul, a sun tower
The future cannot help, but out of the present
it flowers, and we can help ourselves
In the sun, I see, a winter sun behind a sea
of branches, there where I lose myself
to find what there is to see