Dark Dogs in the Morning

The darkness fell onto me like a fever
stirring – stripping and dressing in cold
I picked up my phone, and wiped breath from it
Weak coffee. I left the house, slid doors,
the dogs pressed against me – flickering
buzzing, sparking – something was up
but I didn’t know what.
            I set off

seeing the shoals of mist swim
in morning dark where day is forgotten
and the choral synthesiser drone of stars
shook me, made me shiver – I drowned it out
with my headphones. Walked out
with my pathetic torch across
the wood and farm-land in the mould black
morning – marvelling at the absolute lack
of magic, there in the dust-clump wood.
I glanced around me, saw nothing
thought ‘but wolves, but wild boars’
I smiled, took a fast pace down
the bend to the flood-plain
where I imagine the flesh-fade
of dawn began to apply itself to night

***

Later on return – left tracks
in the forest frost grass from the mansion
to the servant’s quarter
my breath was even more eager than I
to get to the house, it ran ahead
but stopped suddenly – a dead deer
half, half-eaten, eyes open
as the ground is open to the falling
sat there, on the cold patio.
Poachers only want the hind-half
I later learned – I felt the cold fur
brush past, long hair of the black dog –
thought; you were excited for your find
I left you behind. I’m sorry.
She took the skull between her teeth
and cracked it. From the cavity,
the night came flowing back…

V.44

Coming home on a long warm night
where the air takes the noise of keys
and holds it cupped in its hand like
a ladybird which alighted

on the hand, and is climbing up.
Coming home after mild concern
has flared in a blank stare forward
and later a stratified phase

of conversation while the feet
hit their warm rubber on the path.
Coming home after talk of trade
and politics and other large

and uncontrollable forces
which fluctuate like black storms do,
hung waiting behind the buildings
on your right, and seen between them.

To say power is power just
raises violence to a law
and that seems a dull reversal.
There are as many reasons to

do a thing historically as
there are to do a thing today
at least, and as reasons densen
a cool breeze blows over the street

V.38

Do you ever get that feeling
on a late spring day, at noon when
the sun bears down amongst vile blues
and undecided clouds, and yet

it’s night? When the high pollen count
and the feeling that everything
is just an instanciation
of old recycled days, textures

the graphic engine once used on
bricks, are now reused for the spilled
potatoes on the roundabout,
these things combine and you just feel

mad? And you aren’t sure you’ve ever
been awake? and the flagstones see
your shadow with an evident
disgust, fall upon them.

That its night with a veneer of day?
Your actions seem to multiply
without ending or beginning.
And sometimes it’s okay. Squirrels

pace around the garden of my
adolescent dreamscape, bouncing
off each other, the bird feeder
and their black eyes watch me, eating

V.35

I fear the dark, like anyone
that grows along the surface like
moss. Dear friend, I fear I am done
writing outside of fashion

and that is life. Lichen grows in
me, letting out its frost tendrils.
I am clean and clear throughout when
I have the better understood

moments. But to reach those I need
suns and locales I am far from.
I am out beyond the long range
of the beautiful. Juxtapose

this evening, alone, and unpained,
with an evening we knew by sea
where I had pain, yes, but also
peace. I live, now, to reach that peace.

Moss, you will note, is oft unsung.
Though it arrives first, and fastens
black rock for the later aeons
who soon forget it. I lie here

reaching for soft Erato’s hair,
or the bend of her ear, to breathe
whispers and promises of things
she wants me to do to her yet

Sun Paean

Gracious sun who flies
freewheeling
without weight
being weight
and light itself

Generous sun, who
with patient defence
has mechanised us
from the infinites
with infinites
with infinite patience

Great sun here is my appeal;
It is not enough that you should set
do not be so humble
Shine all day and beyond –
erase the night so I may
awake and fall sleeping
to your light through
the thick blinds in soft covers
in living blankets
of sublime furriness

These warm nights
which feel so odd, knowing
you are close
the air rings with tension
while the bins are emptied
what rhythmic trundling

Giant sun, simply ride the horizon
like a carousel
bucking up and down
on the plastic horse of the hills

Your twilight is gold
I purchase lightness with
Oh gracious sun

The Value of Darkness

If you talk to me of comfort, my friend
And darkness, well I’ve this –

If the nocturnal endlessness of the darksky
Were placed against her, I
Would mark it as a grain of dust
Hanging in her beam of sunlight
On a summerday’s comfort,
Gleaming ironmetal to its rust.

But perhaps you’d rather I turn your head in surprise –

She is as darkness to me, how it flies
Curving out at equal speed to light
Enveloping all most shadowly in night
As we lie together sweating sparks of touch –
She is my eclipse, my thunderstorm
My oceandeep gloom, my envelope
She is the stranger standing in the room
Who disappears on waking.
She is my light and dark, she is my gloaming.

She is not sound, but silence, after chatter
Shook violentwise the eardrum and composed
A mindset to accept the wind and void.

She is not caress, but the lack of touch
On a breathless day under unfeeling sun
When all the cares of the world burn into my skin
In all noise and fury.

You grade the universe wrong when you throw this out.
We measure all things, and give them measure
And photon impacts per second offer death to the heart.
Measuring value in metres cubed…

Listen:
It might be right to prefer the end of the world, and doom
To the end of the shining connection, holding in storm
The weatherfronts of myself and her.

She is my welcome gloom.