V.89

Pain in my hands as I hold them
grasping a book, obsolescence
staring me down across thirteen
futures, just those from that second –

Le Grande Chartreuse chants ply away
in chorus across the copper
and fibreglass, a chant of years
of imaginary journeys.

I can hear imaginary
thoughts of those who would use oldness
to justify anything new
they fancied the look of. Silence

for example. A lost image
which is strings of words and phrases
and none of it uncreated –
it was sung in old emotions

we learned (and we is a loose term)
in ages past (every term is)
when we were openings among
the trees. I mean to say that no

singer can by their song undo
hope, though the lost hope may argue.
No dice throw can abolish chance.
The new world will come regardless

V.63

The future doesn’t exist
only the moment exists, and the moment
is the moment of despair that the future does not exist.

There are no hopes.
There are only desires and deepest of those
the desire to have hopes.

I ride the bus back from town
having achieved a slight melancholy

and bought things I did not need
when I ‘should have been saving’
for the future I do not have.

Love once tore my head open
and everything inside fell on the ground.

Now, I feel no love.
And my head remains empty.
such is time’s slow dripping
and the cloud moves toward the horizon.

Should I be angry? No.
Should I want?
Should faint red lines iterate upon the past and build to a revolution where hope is reborn as weak as it ever has been that we could one day find a place among things

Silenus

In the smooth dark the faun first arrives,
stepping from the skin of my best friend.
So much support has gone into this
and now we’re dancing and all call out
which classic films had taught us to love.
Things swim before my eyes, and I too
swim in these moments as I placate.
We are far from home and soon will leave
for those far shores again. Oh soft time.

Drinking whisky they dream or don’t dream
as is their need. The old bottles pall
as their blood is drunk. And the sober
watch on at the loud speeches and song
and the night becomes long. And yet still,
in this time and place where we cannot
get precisely what we want, and feel
pain, the smiles around us float on streams
of lesser darknesses and heat to boil

that pool of life’s worth again. We hear
Sigur Ros sing as we change places
again. And sit in the darkening
moments that fade, and look into eyes
we shall not see ’til other ages.
Silenus sits and watches smiling
before he scratches an ear puzzled.
Something seems not quite right to his eye.
He is wrong. There is nothing wrong here

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
Resolving, concrete sinnings
Shimmer towers, seeding.

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

The Bypass

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 the thoughtless
death-machines, our dreams turned nightmares,
teach us mercilessness to utopian thinking.
We live on the thin red line which hedges provisionally
the gap between 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 red martian grass,
disaster comes, we will deal with that disaster –
shuffling our cards and smiling at the draw:
We keep the red fire and pass it on,
whirling and dancing from soul to soul
lift the handful of dice and play your role,
forging and reforging 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 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

Along the cold cracked-concrete roads
with cold-cracked paint, the living do
their 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 pleading song, and rightful hurl
sharp judgements out upon the head
of human shadows, enemies
who screaming wish the world were dead:

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

Whitby Church Hymn

Those limestone souls, a crowd surge at the gates
where wooden worm-nourishing beams, 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 – they tempt to a certain joy, lit
as the moon brings a cawing custom to hope.

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

and 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.