V.88

The lake surface is dusk-white noise –
Just so many cut paper gulls
and silhouette ducks – then the dark
cuts across this inner distance

I sit in the greying evening
reiterate a dead song-form
– that of assuming the stances
of nature. But nature is gone

and what remains is a dammed stream
and what remains is a lake house
– people moan and run from nothing
and wheeze. I can’t reach beyond it.

There’s only the monotone lake
whose forms insulate nothing from
nothing. An image of a false
image. I make my offering:

In the morning, a red dawn comes
and fixes the sky in crystal.
Intergalactic prison ships
revolt and institute the new

through law. But for now, the moon hangs
in soft focus, and swans are fed,
by fallen branches whose mirror
in the lake caresses the sky

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/

V.3

The way I approach effective
poetry nowadays is to
sketch as it were many soft lines
that end up suggesting something

is wrong. The water beams across
the board, where swans stain the lakeside
wanderers by entering through
strong paths of light. Conversations

with me and the word processor
create problems. Is it not that
processes simply happen. Is
there nothing we can do to stop

the press, allow us to think more
gesturally, without failure
to account for form, for the sound
of ducks and children talking. To

be, or not worry about teeth
sunk into the skull where process
becomes actual too quickly
and then (god forbid) words exit

and already falsehoods have held
hands and are skipping around old
people, who seem to be running
from death like the black headed gull

27/02/18

Brambles cut with snow
are the earth’s bronze crown
of thorns in the sun

This sun – glancing the snow
I walk under – and my ears
tilt to the birdsong now –

this spring beginning with snow
A fox-path diverts from mine
to the deeper more humanless parts

And cars through the sleet
as my ears grow colder
the houses are there, dusted

with drybrush grey-white crusts
plucked from a model of
the apocalypse – each is empty

Others walk by to arrive somewhere
as I stand and look
at the fallen tree, sliced with a gap.

A half frozen lake waits
for me, and duck ripples
there is no escape, but this

is an escape, the frozen sheet
the tree’s twisting bark
the wood-pigeon’s cold thrum

May this be preserved
this tas of remnants
this preciseness of life

which clings to us like a scar.
‘Do not go in the water’
it would be piercing quiet

Then dull, but I do not need telling
twice – to not miss
by brash action – a moment.

Behind the patient moon,
a meteor – as I walk home
watch my head coalesce

into the white materia – holy.