On Beauty

Considered with reference to bodies

Standing water, in the cold night
reflects the crisp moon,
thin stars in the eye’s quiet corner

In its shallows the dark leaves rot
starving greens and wriggling things
’til stillness reigns

There is only so much you can get
from a reflection –
just ask these dying flowers on the shore

But a river – god damn it
just look – look at that flow
It goes where it wants to

But slip up, take a photo
and there! It’s a pool again.
For gods’ sake delete it

Let us leave all our still disasters
a night of stars, devastated
without their flutter, their refocus and shift

and lay paper puppets, torn and sullied
by the fire which crackles with time
and burns with everything you needed

Bath

This and the next few poems were rejected from the Poetry Review. I really don’t like resubmitting poems, it feels like the moment has gone. So I will send these on into the aether, rather than having them sat in a black case with other miscellaneous papers.

I don’t mind that they were rejected. Why be sad that one person is not in the right mood to hear what you were saying, or doesn’t like your clothes, or just isn’t open to you. That doesn’t change what you have to say. Why be sad that your picture doesn’t hang nicely amongst the others. It just means it doesn’t fit there. Paintings are beautiful even leant on the wall in the attic with a layer of dust. My own space is wherever I am. Like here.

And also Rebecca Tamás said she liked them, so I was happy anyway!

Bath

“If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches” – Rilke

I
There’s nothing really wrong now, per say.
The day was good – disjunct as often
with the day I thought that it might be.
As I wait for the bath to fill up
the room fills with warmer, wetter air.
Not to begin on the day hoped for.
There is just a lightness missing – mist
takes the windows. Empires have been won
and lost because of this wistfulness.

II
My body floats ever so slightly.
The deep element we were borne from
laps my chin as if to say nothing –
is enough, and indeed it is, better, yes.
The sweat beads run out to meet it here
they orbit my body, salts dancing.
Is that enough? To attempt to think
in the calmest way. The figure: still
sea glitters in the sun’s soft twilight.

III
Now – a new series of figures pass;
the wind blowing of trees in dusk dark.
the grey boiling of a deep sea vent.
small blank fish in Mariana black.
a blinding light as torn blinds open.
an ache in the neck which fades slowly.
a small smile quickly dances outward.
A last hope was that bath – just know it.

V.59

I can’t wait to fall asleep, soft
and slow as a cloud dispersing.
With that ache and contrast shift where
things disappear and become blur,

words disconnect and disengage
and the images dance amongst
the silence. When mouths open, then
the silence deepens. I can’t find

the werewithal to concentrate.
I am a lizard with a tongue
slipping out fast to taste the air
in a desert and my light muse

water has been destroyed by sun
scratching its fingers over all,
leaving hot and cracked marks. Scuttle
into shadow, and soon the cold

is within. I can’t think to do
anything. I lie in the warm
glow of the new LED bulb
and stare at the ceiling. The word

approaches when, failing to find
my muse, I fall backwards in the
dark, and the she catches my shoulders
in an eldritch trust exercise.

V.49

We are not built to think of space
of true beginnings and endings
when the book becomes less and more
when cups and paths and horses fall

off the registry of items –
yet we do and it brings a break
in thought to the page. The blue roar
of water as I’m arriving

at work, draws back concepts like a
curtain / The sun on the water
is scintillating like a proud
child. Light blue eyes encapsulate

me and the red waters rise. Rain
on the air after a storm, rain’s
ghost captures small insects on its
silk. Far off a head of thunder

attempts to drag itself out of
the blue. As I’m leaving work, I
become tangled in the silver
linings. The car is hot, I put

Takk by Sigur Rós into the
CD slot and feel antiquate.
The end of things is far from me
and the cool breeze. The sun blinking

Another Waterfall Poem From Last Year

3, 6×6, Waterfall

I got a cold last night
crept up on, I crumbled
fell in hot and coldness
under the sheets – time crawled
now, I sit on the wall
and watch the first lacewing

The light – diffused through cloud
low, heavy, though not damp –
stutters off its wings, fast
so it looks, to ill mind
and its machinations
to flutter in and out

of existence, an x
drifting from stone, to flow
blinking. Variables
sparking from the lack-dark
of a barely there head
and crackling eye-nerve knots.

A World

Wavecolour

There is a beyond I want
It sits in the bay – swelling
and parches colour from skies
If it were to flatten – I
would hover in galactic
clearness as whale stock rolling
through depths of flat darkness

It is a mess of futures
I want to feel weight holding –
not pulling me down, not crass
If I were to dive, would it
help me to feel this soft truth?
All its cruxes, circulate
into my skull sockets, pour

Skycolour

In the original slow
blue-shift on crystal axes
and the cloud-plane’s flat chatter
which gulls inhabit – It strokes
our lives with rotations
so unnoticed – like a spine
holds us, cranks us all onwards

This thing, this vast thing thralls me
with the subtlety of god
I want to live as slow as
this thing is the thing itself
as uncaring, swept distance
that it unfolds me into
a greater care, the air itself

Earthcolour

When I stand in the peach-rock
plain – hear cicadas eat sound
and grind my soul off on sand
using just my feet, my flat boots
– I want to hear the pattern
of sun-dry olives falling
of mountains blowing in wind

I want to smell the dry cracks
splitting the earth and the ants
cacophonous rustling will
The sweat which drops from my brow
– will it birth a cold spring, no
it crackles into the dirt
then a sun bleached toothless skull

Suncolour

Once, the sun was in my urn
buried, half-buried in sand
half in air, then it poured out
and the corona blasted
a hole through me, I smiled clean
I fell and my body spread
in a floating slow dissolve

Light was everywhere – light swam
in oceans of light, pearlesced
in the centre, a headache
a burning, a green cactus
bee mantra, a pebbled floor
and a pale darting lizard
The gull shadow sweeps within

Starcolour

A fell day, a final drive.
Long journeys open cold doors
and out – look upwards – yes
There is the ancient cave wall
where myth crystallises – whites
and all reds and bright far dawns
brim softly with absolutes

They are eyes, palantíri
Vectors indicate some truth
– whatever, the darkness fades
from a pale light to shimmer
Orion’s heavy shoulder
It ripples, this fabric lives –
swear it was not known til now.

Some More Waterfall Poems

2, 7×7, Waterfall

What blood of the land is this
that surges over stone, steams
over a thin film of light
the river’s wrapped in, rippling
what hidden force vomits it,
Lurch from dark of reflection
crawl under the hot sun sprawl

Its brown gold gleam is not seen
even scalding caramel
boils darker, and slower. Here
the froth bangs and scatters. There
all the deeper brown darks drag
dead branches across fathoms
where speeding rapids disperse.

Waterfall, 4, 6×3

By virtue of water
Dark ink flows from my pen
feathers float by – also

The sound of the air fills
with that relaxing spray
and constant tear-shiver

Last night pins and needles
struck me body lengthwise
to calm after the drive.

But now that same water
is a different shape
shields me from sun with noise.