Dove Builds a City in the City

A winter wind gusted
Dove heard it, rang through the archway

Her dark veins pulsed in the frost
Til the blood boiled over hope

Cracking the paving glade
Her crusting eye fixing on the mist
the dirt, the sand, beneath the skinnings

Crystals poured from her lungs
Piling growing strata of symbol
searing martyrs to the brickwork
Resolving, concrete sinnings
Shimmer towers, seeding.

Dove heard all this racket crash and scream
Extinctions kept her good company, and she knew it

A winter wind blew
Dove heard it, and said
A winter wind taught us to dream

The Bypass (Life is a Fire)

Worry fills the air, it has always filled the air
In the dark crouched under a cliff edge, clutching
Close our churchly comforts, curling
Fingers round our hope and hurting.
In bed caressed by muster horns of a great storm
Our worries go riding out over the top of the trenches
Gunned down by merciless death-machines, our dreams
Turned nightmares, teach us mercilessness to utopian thinking.

We live on the thin red line which hedges provisionally
The blurry gap of dystopia and the real.
We see burbling spitting demagogues rising from the ashes of war and despair,
And wait for nothingness to dry like mould in the bathroom
Peeling into oblivion and resting on a stone floor, forgotten by the universe,
Not marked by a single smile, but marked by a single frown or dry tearduct.

No.

Our challenge, our tribulations and trials
Are but one – to keep the bleeding faith in life, sharp teeth gritted
To stand high above the wave and teach it like lightning it lacks a purpose we fulfil
To dance in the fire like fire and lift our friends up, and the weak,
(who are strong but if they can flow
like mercury among the other metals)
Say, Drudgers, worriers of the world, rise up, you have nothing to lose but your fear
We have the stars to win.

And if one day, sun rising on a field of martian grass,
Disaster comes, we will deal with this disaster
Shuffling our cards and smiling at the draw:
We keep the fire and pass it on, whirling and cavorting from soul to soul
Lift the handful of dice and play your role,
Forging humanity from the sparks and defying the world to fall.
Get angry, get warm, and never bow.
Never bow at all.

Cold Car in the Dawn

Each and every bright city morning
Like countless fires extinguished falling
Dark and letting darkness reign:
The people wake, in bursts, a flood
Of living drowns the world again

And along the cold cracked-concrete roads
With cold-cracked paint, the living go
To and fro about the earth
And driving quickly up and down.
Each darkling dawn a swarming birth.

But in each cask, each bleary eye
Sees dawning sun conduct the sky
In symphonies of light and shade
And sometimes from them tears are drawn
By dawnings from which days are made.

Though sufferers may infuse the world
In screaming song, and shouting hurl
Sharp judgements out upon the head
Of human shadows, enemies
And screaming wish the world were dead:

Shadows vanish in the light
And leave the mind from time to time.
And wiping sand from out their eyes
The humans bear upon the sun
And bask resolving under sky.

Four Moments of a Realisation: 3 – Preservation

Now it’s morning
and the impetuous patterns of late night frustration and hate
have dulled to afterglow.
What was I thinking, well
in fact I know.
But a new piece of fate has been slotted to place
and now the picture’s completed.
It has guilt in the whole
diffuse as light over bending figures
and I rest in the foreground, depleted
amongst the contorting souls.

What a meal your body must have had
blindly searching for eradication
only to find a more complete destruction
a more essential realisation
a possibility inherent in every sexual encounter
and it reached out its tiny arms
and grasped them around you.

This is the reason for all your erratic behaviour.
This is where I may step up to serve as your saviour;
Or is this my final finger
still tense on the cliff edge, still slipping
A black hope’s transforming, messianic delusion,
seeming to my future thought
a pathetic final confusion…

But your stunned silence
gave up no noises, or few…
I lacked the last guiding revelation
and then I knew…
Then I knew.

Whitby Church Hymn

Those limestone souls, a crowd surge to the gates
where wooden beams nourishing wyrm, deny
a crossing of the red river – useless names,
given fresh to the mason-master puppeteer.

Sitting squat, one arm outstretched, and sly
squinting for the sea-spray, grim eyes dripping
complacent – playing with a certain joy, and lit
as the moon brings him a cawing custom of hope.

But chaos, in its own self certitude
sways slowly forth in undulations of infinite patience
caressing those lucky ones inside

Where more are lost, soft names dissolving
As the waiting hollows reveal their shapes, and the less
In turn await their pockmarking.

On Hope

If sometimes it seems that I have no hope
and sometimes it seems that I cannot rest
with the state things are, and stinging riposte
the many gifts of life – forgive me.
For something grave must force your hand
to pick up the pen and rage at the light
and its dying.
And often for me, it’s rage or despair
the savage bites of the worm in the bud
which have their source of inner trouble
struggling to find a name.
These constellations of rage ignore
The manifold ways we have much more –
The gleaming of this human planet.

A Baby Cries on the Train

In her voice the death of the stars peeks out
as she cries in unknowing on the train
the vast machinations have no doubt
but she is consumed by it
and an instant erasure at the sound of the caring
who made the right move, as if by chance
and quiet stupefaction takes the air
and relief for the others, who sat in the carriage
occasionally throw her a glance.
That we must each pass through uncaring torment
in a world we made, but not made for us
is the darkest blot on the soul of each one
and we see it again in the birth and tribulations
with moments of quiet in the stellar sun.