V.130

Sometimes the heaviest reading
is the lightest – you understand?
Threading a needle envelops
the whole of us, a subtle task –

It is not a wetted slide down
in bright acrylic tubes to pools
It is a staircase and each step
slightly differs in height. Slowness

is an active ideal. I read
the day we spent in Dunstanburgh
and it is complex. Razor bills
and Shags patrol the ruined keep

in the darkness while the basalt
is thrashed by the waves. A staircase
starts halfway up a ruined stack –
The last person to take those stairs

was some unnamed and lost servant.
Yellow gorse patches over hills
which spread to the damp horizon
and fields of rapeseed glow and grow

We have steps to take and relearn
as heat passes into the sky
over the bookshop. And your kiss
stumps me like distant history

V.129

In a dream, riddle-full of dark
and industrial violence
It is night, like in Cloverfield –
I am observing guileless loss

Someone dies and someone screams – no
don’t look over there, it’s not worth it.
I close my eyes, twist my head round
and wake up with pain in my chest.

As I question it and question,
the dream does not become clearer
It is images seen through ice –
I need something to make me smile

The note was sent by me to me
unsigned and without an ending
The black morning drags, and I toss
thinking of the curls in your hair

Never leave me, goddamn it, swear
that your post-entropic body
can justify the invention
of the lost world-eternal space

Swear it. My thoughts grow so sluggish
crawling around your end// a void
so sharp I am cut in half, now
when time has yet spared me. Amen

V.128

<< In-between two redbrick houses
there is an alcove and a shed
topped with a mossy corrugate.
On the campus. A leaf dances

shivers, hovers, behind the moss –
blown as if a storm plucked at it
on a taught invisible string.
I’m still in front of the horror >>

<< There is a leaf on the road home
I see in the peripheral
behind me when I look back down
the hill – on the grey concrete steps

It jumps and slaps the ground so fast
and in paroxysms of dance
confined to its small space – I blank
on everything and watch the glitch >>

<< Roland Barthes was crossing the road
when he suddenly stopped – in front
on the path ahead a brown leaf
shivered as if it was burning

but there was no smoke. Enraptured
he didn’t notice the milk truck.
As the blood pooled the leaf flew up
to hover over him, spinning >>

V.127

I wake in the dark and get up.
My heart palpitates. I listen.
My arm is cold, and the bird song
is half audible – I listen

There is a noise out in the air
I cannot place it – a night hum
beyond the cars whining – the woods
is a valley and they echo…

A high pitched hum – a dead discourse
of a ghost who sits in my sink
and mouth open lets out this noise
I avert my mind but listen

Yes there are new air raid sirens
being tested in the morning
over the cold roofs and wet fields –
not meant as a warning – merely

set to register the white flash
with a note of receipt so faint,
(Warmongering philosophers
stride in black across Odessa)

en deuil, les victimes à venir.
As I lie still, I can hear it –
the vedic wind resonating
on the moors, a landscape om

V.126 To work//and back

The Past is a Dream – it recurs
exactly as thoughts from a dream
as droplets from a cracked clay vase
in a forgotten desert spring –

drips from a rusted waterwheel
in a green abandoned valley.
Pigeons courting on a warehouse
in the golden morning let see

the past through this hectic event –
Always bowing, no matter why –
bowing to each other – honour
of one pigeon to another//

Isn’t it mad how supernovas
burn in incredible vibrance
and leave civilisations there
in their path like a residue

All the material on streets
of red brick trentes glorieuses
is the debris from a power –
Strange things happen to the star corpse

I make tracks out from the city
and hear fireworks in the cool dusk.
Ribs of light. Le Petit Prince walks
alongside me with his flower

Charms for Defence of the City

In the name of the night
may all your bullets strike true
throwing clueless belligerent men
into soft beds of nettles or the pond

So they may immediately limp home
to their mothers, or to see their dog

*

In the name of the wind
may all bombs that fall find
they are caught in spider-webs
spun round and tightly held

So that you may take them down
disassemble them and bury them

*

In the name of thunder
may all their machines fail
to bring them any closer
May their wheels fall off

Roll down the hill, and splash
into the river, heading to sea

*

In the name of the sun
may the tyrant find himself
lost among people
unable to speak

Cold and dark
screaming for his father.

*

In the name of an angel
may all your children be wrapped
in invincible spheres of gold
to deliver them from evil

So they may someday speak
and we may someday listen

Freedom by Paul Éluard

A translation for Ukraine, and all the besieged.

“…a very simple wish, an everyday wish, a hardworking wish, to free oneself from the occupier.” – Paul Éluard

In my school-books
On my desk, on the trees
On the sand and on the snow
I write your name

On every page I read
On every blank page
Stone, blood, paper and ash
I write your name

On perspex screens
On soldiers’ guns
On the tyrant’s jewels
I write your name

In the forest on the steppe
On the nests on the thyme bush
On the echo of my childhood
I write your name

On the events of the night
On the day’s white bread
In the married seasons
I write your name

On all my sky blue rags
On the sun dried pool
On the vibrant lake of the moon
I write your name

On the fields of the horizon
On the wings of birds
And on the shadow’s engines
I write your name

On each wave of the dawn
On the sea on the boats
On the lost mountain
I write your name

On the froth of the clouds
On the sweat of the storm
On the thick and tasteless rain
I write your name

On the sparkling shapes
On the colours’ bells
On the real truth
I write your name

On the waking paths
On the rolled out roads
In the packed city squares
I write your name

With the light we switch on
With the light we switch off
On our gathered houses
I write your name

On the apple, cut in two
Of my mirror, and my room
On my bed’s empty frame
I write your name

On my gentle dog who eats so well
On her raised ears
On her clumsy paws
I write your name

On the diving board of my doorstep
On my everyday objects
On the surge of blessed fire
I write your name

On all the flesh of lovers
On the face of my friends
On every hand that’s offered
I write your name

On the window with its surprises
On attentive lips
Well above the silence
I write your name

On my destroyed shelters
On my fallen lighthouses
On the walls of my despair
I write your name

On unwanted absences
On naked loneliness
In my steps with death
I write your name

On the return of health
When risk has disappeared
On hope without memory
I write your name

And by the power of a word
I begin my life again
I was born to know you
To name you

Freedom.

V.125 The Seventh Day

Only the finest and most active animals… – Nietzsche

On the seventh day, I rested.
I took my little boots, went out
and sat in the memorial garden.
Tears were licked from my eyes by time.

Cherry blossom was on the trees
a rusty angel holding wreaths.
I thought how, once built, a bridge lasts –
a stone bridge outlasts us, and sings.

Dreams of war danced in the cold night.
In rooms, piles of ancient books loomed.
The sun isn’t something missing
it’s an overflow of hot thoughts –

that dances on the horizon
and tricks us by travelling so slow.
I wanted to say this: thank you,
here is a Picquot tray of tea.

Like tidal waves upon a cliff
this came to me, this old feeling,
made me take a seat and begin
thinking the odds and ends again.

Oh, all my help and those I harmed
– joy hands on joy to us and then,
like lava at tectonic rifts
from this, may things begin again