Vague

Behind the facemask of my mind there isn’t a lot happening. The dullness of disaster has arrested complex thoughts with its neutralising swarm, experienced as a blank mass descending over everything like snow, or asbestos over an old factory. Which isnt to say I’m having a particularly bad time. After all kids would play in it like snow, and were presumably happy for those moments, even as the traces of later pain knitted themselves into the depths of the lung. Although I do have chronic pain of a kind, it’s really not anything to send letters home about – I can still enjoy the bubbling steam of the coffee machine that cost me £4 in a charity shop. These cheap, or at least notionally cheap pleasures help us in the mornings as they grow darker, colder, here in the north. For the best skill in life is to hold on whilst letting go, and knowing when. The chances of death are still certain etc. etc.

Stranded on the immensity of the ocean, I am treading water. The giant fish-object silhouette hovers in the deep, just on the edge of the dysphotic zone. My eyes are sliding off its almost-imperceptibility as the water laps around my ears, as the waves pull me up and down. My stomach is turning and turning to try find a way out, but of course there is none. Dread is with me in the cold water, amongst the water, invisible. My eyes are wide, and cold and I am in constant tension waiting for the attack.

Then something changes. I relax, see the surface rise away from me in its liquid glass transformations of the grey clouds. I take a mouthful of water and taste its saltiness before I open my lungs and breathe it in. It is light and cool inside me and I now hover, buoyant as the water, breathing the ocean in the dark. And moods are like this, aren’t they? I suppose.

V.50

Rain! Rain! On the river! Falling!
Oh my world! Heavying my hair!
Til it drips down my face! Oh rain!
Cupping my jawline exactly!

Rain! Dampening my clothes! Cooling
my shoulders and neck! hanging out
on the windscreen! Little deltas!
Dancing on the mud! just dancing!

Always a pleasure! Falling out
of the sky! or so they tell me!
I believe rain is liquid air!
That gets so bored sometimes it melts!

I believe rain is a sea spore!
Ready to grow a little sea!
Wherever it drops! It could be
anywhere! Like in your ear-hole!

The audiologist would gawp!
At the little ships, their foghorns!
And the sea mist forming cloudlines
which pour down your neck and caress!

I would spend days alone with it!
Which roars on the roof at night! So
passionate and so sensuous!
Each drop its own exclamation!

V.41

The submarine began to lilt.
Holding her small brass crucifix,
she felt the shudders progress through
to the copper veins of the ship.

Through the viewport the forest came
dark and blue with a thin dust skin
the woods at the deep of the world
thin rusted needles, a spike pit

where white eels passed into shadows
and the leaves were rotten and white.
It stretched on and on, looming out
of the black pressure, and crabs rose

from the murk only to hide where
the vessel’s pale light would not shine
on paler carapaces. Soon
the trees parted with a clearing.

She gasped at what the mystic girl
had shown. It was true. The bones lay
in the open, in vast white arcs.
And each bone was scarred and peppered –

harpoon heads embedded like black
stars in a pale cosmos, thousands.
The skull was cracked that crowned them there.
the soaring husk of the white whale