C to M

Unbelievable. Words are meant for pages,
not to echo over the fields behind houses
disturbing the moths in their evening light.
Words are meant only for games
and this is not a game. I said stop.
You need to speak now, we’re here.
I’m here, you’re here, we’re here.
What are we playing at? What just happened?
We had an ice-cream together
and it was like the last ice-cream piece
of the ice cream puzzle. But it’s gone.
We were like two intercity kiloton trains
that missed the crash we could have been.
Ignorant that all of us crash, it’s life.

But our verdict is not stayed by vague gestures.

You are like the frame of everything;
I’m like your cracked painting.
And you’re mine. You’re my painting,
my nude by Georges Braque, a person,
but unlike any person they know.
I could never have said this til now,
it’s like someone is speaking through me,
my voice is no longer my own,
but I’m going to take this chance to say
I love you, M, I’ve said it before.
But I don’t think we ever got through
to a precise entailment of that statement.
You are the thorn in my side that I need.
You are the constant pain that lets me know I’m alive.
Or am I that to you? I’ve lost track. But that’s it;
If they tried to unweave me from this world,
they’d have to take you too, otherwise
what’s left would not make sense.
You’re like the light by which I am seen.
Without you I am not me.
We evolve together like the beetle and magnolia,
But who is which, changes.
Stop, let me make you a statue to yourself.
Let me be your pedestal. Let us hold us.
Stop, let me punch your enemies in the nose,
and redeem all your relations.
Let me become something that we become together
Let us realise that we become together.
Stop, let’s lie down here in our hole, our glass bauble
And work through everything in glorious variations
of sex, like we were carved by the ancients.
Things are going wrong all the time
And we aren’t owning it. Let us own it.

When we are hurt, we are the uneasy angel,
making uncertain vows to save us.
Now Editor, Stop. Allow us this
Of course things happen in unlikely ways,
Let’s not be melodramatic about it.
Leave the future to those who live there.
We are our fate.

V.71

Waiting to explain the contrast
between the blue of the night sky
whose soft storm tufts sail past the star
and the crisp orange of my lamp

and it’s now midnight exactly.
Trying to avoid the back pain,
I describe the warm oranges
and defined black shadows against

the world outside which is not crisp
and rarely defined. Then, onset
of paranoia regarding
that star. It slipped into the text

with no fanfare, but its crisp haze
zeroes in like the silence when
almost deafened after a bang.
It’s watching me, from across space.

Maybe it’s trying to warn me.
The specifics of range and tone
doubtless contain enough data
just to fix this pain and be done.

On the shores of the white star, sand
pours and dreams around blank oceans –
a lone deckchair waits for me there
and a coconut with a straw

Two Poems

Crowd

The vast pack turns now – howls
it echoes in the dark
locks of the valley cliffs
The whole hive mind stiffens –
an enemy appears
and soon becomes shadow.

The light of the howlers
is a dim-burning light
not hot like communion –
cold; cold as hill mist tears
that graze clean the day’s grime
From forgotten arches

Running silently through
damp places on the hill
Babbling under black clouds
And devouring, slowly
At first, skin from your flesh
And then, thoughts from your brain

Sun Worship

And as poetry dies a death
or is reborn – which is
the same, until it isn’t
And the sunlight takes on a sharpness
And the world begins again to end
quite unlike a mint falling to the floor
and breaking
cleanly in two upon the tiles
and the sheerness of thought stacks
so steeply –
Did not a roman slave walk
the dry paths of this split-cream coast
Does not this man hang such
washing as has never been bettered
in the warm air
Does not the mother walk a beach
as her dog exacts nothing from
the sea
as slow the waves pull down the coast
and the sun’s fog blurs horizons
and a thousand small discomforts –
there is still much to do
even on last days, which may fade
walking through a sliding glass door
as if to return shortly
but never returning (all this
in the sun)

Here, look up through the parasol
at the sun encased in black fabric
does this seem gaudy to you?
The prehistoric stands on a cliff
watching those same horizons
as the birdcalls change.
Ask for help from the sky-trails
as they spread into the blue.
Note the ferocious beautiful
of pre-bomb flares falling on the city
But note you may be thrown off the bus
by those who don’t understand
that a flower can exist in a wasteland.
Place your hands often on
warm heads of hair –
Cope like this – in sunlit ripples
on some body of water
some body of air

V.40

The night stretches out ahead like
an endless action scene. With duds
the faceless attackers scream, wait
their turn and then run straight at me

so I can deck them with a punch.
But there are so many of them
waving their arms and raising guns
just in time to be knocked back down.

It seems there are infinite shapes
that falling onto the floor takes.
I toss and turn in bed and breath
comes shorter. “Loneliness! You fool!

You should not have approached me. Now
I will teach you the meaning of
pain! Take *that*! and *that*! Now you see,
you should have brought reinforcements!

*hi-YA*! *hi-YA*! Why don’t you speak!
Get up, loneliness, I’m not done
with you yet *KAPOW*. Ah, greetings,
pain, I knew you would crawl in soon

Our dark past ends here! Pathetic!
You don’t stand a chance against my
FIST! *WHACK* Stop smiling, how dare you”
and on until I fall asleep

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

Life’s Attempt

Do not debase yourself – you are gold, and you know
You need only find the friends that will hold you as standard.
And learn to expect a little less from life,
And see how we die, how we weren’t designed for this living;
Designed at all, apart from a certain sketching,
Loathe to confer strong lines, conveying our motion.
This earthly fact need not ashcut our hair with hot sorrow,
Though of course it may do for a moment, a dry-haunting phase:
Learning the blood and the tears that rest in salvation
Not dropped from above, in a white hot holy inferno
Of passionate revenge. No, these great tears are ours
Believer, as we bear up the world on our backs, and build
Our commune here on earth, our only connection
Where we tie our authority, where we can decide on our lives.
Not alone; these golden souls around us glimmer
As we pile together in a vast open treasure of days:
Supporting each other as cold water clings to cold water
Thundering slow as a star, and frantic reshaping
It glints – over the falls and out into darkness;
This thunder is purity, this thunder is gold in its forging.

And our blood belongs too, and it brings with it ancient foundations
Of life in the dawning of sacred human electrics.
We do not need more, I promise, and offer my words
As a jumpstart to show you how it can be: have you heard?
We only need thriving, we only need close interaction,
(and hoping for endlessness here will bring unbidden pain)
With the group of bright people called wonders who show us the way
To shore up our breathing, our justifiable madness
At having to live in a world that we have made,
Which teaches us we lack the spinning centre: We.
The people who beat the heart of humanities pace?
This is the horror, the shock and the shame of those
Who project with intensity, blinding sovereign light
On the walls and blind us, this is why it takes time.
To learn we can float, calm on our backs in the sea
Of a disc, on the back of four elephants, looming calm
On the back of a turtle, ponderous floating through space.

It is no easy thing, and there is no certain winning,
But if we can cope well, there’s a fell chance that so then can you.
Glowing human structures support this crowing communion,
Some shaking with white hot threads of dancing desire;
And yes there is violence, but here in the gaps inbetween,
Which like air are so hard to avoid, and yet so hard to see
Lie yet softer gradients of all of the earthier pleasures,
A glass of water, a book, a handshake, a look in the eyes.
A cuddle at dawn, a song, a joke, or a poem,
A long conversation, a cry, or some faith in your friends.
Ask not for justification, for there is no need.
In the grand scheme of things we are great enough. This you can believe.

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.