A canvas: on uncertain blue
place a pink tear and a black plane
moving across the sky. Fragments
of torn cotton ringed with magma
beyond the train that collects thoughts
as it passes – dreams of metal
and paint, and nights of sweat on seats
of blue nylon. Dark reflections
in the glass as country lights slide –
each a knot in the night canvas
that rocks sleepiness into us.
Brakes squeal, and I am back again.
On the York train once someone put
a shopping trolley full of rocks
on the tracks. Metal squealed and tore
and I was mildly shocked. Around,
people glanced at the sidings, sat
still in their seats til the rattling
stopped, and the rain began. I sit
on this bus and look at the dusk
and use mindfulness to silence –
or some material memories
– dull you in my mind. I paint you
out but like sun you ramify
Waiting to explain the contrast
between the blue of the night sky
whose soft storm tufts sail past the star
and the crisp orange of my lamp
and it’s now midnight exactly.
Trying to avoid the back pain,
I describe the warm oranges
and defined black shadows against
the world outside which is not crisp
and rarely defined. Then, onset
of paranoia regarding
that star. It slipped into the text
with no fanfare, but its crisp haze
zeroes in like the silence when
almost deafened after a bang.
It’s watching me, from across space.
Maybe it’s trying to warn me.
The specifics of range and tone
doubtless contain enough data
just to fix this pain and be done.
On the shores of the white star, sand
pours and dreams around blank oceans –
a lone deckchair waits for me there
and a coconut with a straw
I sit and play around with you
like a dolphin enjoying the
water round a quiet ship – ice
soon takes the water and I leave.
A buttercup has been crushed here
all its petals are gone. I want
to find the key to unlock you –
not to know you, just to see a
smile break. Then a dog wanders up
oh holy dog. Accomplishes
with presence what I had failed at
attempting to stand on my head!
Sophie the dog gets scratched and I
see George Trakl’s pastoral field
scattered with corpses and blue mist
over the nebulae of grass
evaporate under our field
borrowed here on Hampstead Heath, sun
is altered and wizened by the
clouds that pile like a rock slide.
The entire sky is the open eye
of god, examining us
up close. And so few conclusions
are drawn. The eye begins to close
I dove into my phone screen and saw
a dark sub-ocean coordinate
array. And deep in there, on the floor
a body lay. A small child’s, with bone wings.
I swam deeper, pulled on by sunken
stretches of blank curiosity
to touch the faintly drifting feathers
on the salt pool’s slick gradient skin
and caress the pearly eyes of him.
Small white suns in the skull’s curved paunch
I saw a face distorted by love,
love of the new, of being’s faint tricks.
Such tools we build ourselves which fail
in their dull original purpose
as we mould ourselves into new loves
new desires. And unfelt weirdnesses
which creep up on us like sharp sunlight.
Before I could move my air ran out.
I am Dedalus, my own father
and I told myself I should stay hid
from the blue light of screens at night time
but here we are, again, myself trapped
deep in the trench level, and me here
waiting for the slip realisation.
In the sky, the faint edges of clouds
provide a reference, a soft guideline.
They see the faint splash, and carry on.