The world is not a game of chess –
A game of chess is not a game
sometimes it’s something more and less
When a world turns on an evening
When rain churns upon the roof tiles
and rain sounds dance inside the ear
and rain worlds are raised from the red
depths of the mind, a damp childhood.
In an oxbow lake three kids act
in a pirate film, and leap out
in the rain, to feel the warm depths
and feel roots in the dark water
touch their legs, and shiver. A fish
a dead fish bobs among the reeds
Its unused eye staring at clouds
dark with the shadow of water.
In a film a neat cottage stands
by the sea, and an old man gives
advice that, being trite, this time
because of something deep, and past
returning, brings with it a roar
like the sun checkmates the dark sea
and castles on the sand, kids hands
had made, are washed away. I love
Memory danger. It’s a pinch.
They’re in our heads, in our bodies –
they could strike at any time. Know:
Memories are dangerous things.
They wrench our heads through time, it’s worse
even than the ground opening
and letting you plummet away,
just to jangle from side to side
from rock face to rock face – insults
raining from their mouths. “Good lord, boy,
Call that falling!? A downy scrap
of feather would do it better.
Call that hitting your head? Go on…
Pull the other one! Try again –
Oof but that was okay, good byeeee!
AND THE DARKNESS SWALLOWS YOU UP.
So, melodramatic, but yeah.
It’s like the world is scattered all
with massive invisible traps.
Bear traps with a ghost chain attached.
And then you drag the ghost around
as it complains mightily – “Please,
I’m as tired as you, my liege. But
can’t you stop that racket I’m sick”
You’re the Shark Eating my Heart (A Love Poem)
You’re the shark eating my heart
slowly and with little care
while seagulls watch most bemused
and the bored sea smashes on
against sharp rocks, boringly
meanwhile the wind has died down
and the pool surface is glass
so the only noise is chomping.
looking across the bay sound
I think I see whales spouting
but no – that red is blood red,
not sunset. Splashes from where
you’re the shark eating my heart
slowly and with little care and I like it?
I do not remember
as if it has sunk deep
or diffused within me –
my first visit to sand
and sea – ever – as if
my genesis is now –
as if I were born out
of my sea memory –
as the long horizons
shone in the sea’s tearings
crashed in, filling this space
We talk of this later
our feet are hot and sand
rubs off them in our socks.
I turn back and see it;
the dark grey portion sinks
leaving a blank white sky
Four woodpigeons pace the garden
of my adolescent dreamscape –
when tree houses hung suspended
above dark woods. And faceless things
were different back then they belong
among us, deep in my headspace
one pigeon is puffing itself
greater than the others, it thinks
one would suppose, and then settles
the argument. Flown to the woods
I hear the uniquely quiet
sound of paintbrush on old jam jar
where Beatrix Potter’s stand in
with warm and wiry red hair sits
on the fence and marks pigments out
of this world, and makes paintings
hang in my childhood, in halls with
abandon. a picture of me
and Van Gogh. I am young and
wiry. I paint now because these
are the deep horsehairs that gallop
out when I sit on the beach rock.
I will build my mind the gates of
time will not prevail against me