V.99

The world is not a game of chess –
A game of chess is not a game
sometimes it’s something more and less
When a world turns on an evening

When rain churns upon the roof tiles
and rain sounds dance inside the ear
and rain worlds are raised from the red
depths of the mind, a damp childhood.

In an oxbow lake three kids act
in a pirate film, and leap out
in the rain, to feel the warm depths
and feel roots in the dark water

touch their legs, and shiver. A fish
a dead fish bobs among the reeds
Its unused eye staring at clouds
dark with the shadow of water.

In a film a neat cottage stands
by the sea, and an old man gives
advice that, being trite, this time
because of something deep, and past

returning, brings with it a roar
like the sun checkmates the dark sea
and castles on the sand, kids hands
had made, are washed away. I love you

01/07/2018

I can only think of
your blue bathing suit
over the brown sands
with their holes and emulsions

I can only think of
your legs lit by crystal shallows –
of the bruise by your knee
and the flat beach you gazed at

I can only think of
you at different intensities
as if a shell sound lodged in my mind
and the waves of you repeat

I can only think of
you, and your sunburnt lower back
you shouted, it was so sunburnt
I almost evaporated

When I try to think of
other things
you come riding back
standing on a wave

Two Poems

A Visit to Sylvia Plath’s Grave

Seeds of grass, pods of a clock
rock in the wind which picks up
and the dog barks once – we climbed
up green cobblestone steep street
and playground to Heptonstall
saw the abandoned ship drift
along a gravestone sea-path

and bump against the present.
It talked, the wind, it said words
from a wind tongue, softly, out
of itself in hidden verses.
A button is enough, placed
In her dirt. Sigh with the breeze,
over the empty space

The Ouse

The river never rests – pushed
by its own waters, it runs
pulled forward with earth-mass speed
round the bend in the land depth,
and at every moment, rain
sinks from the hills around – ends
with a collapse, its own path.

It is so fast and soundless
this – small orgasm of force
trillionfold, rumble drowned.
So perfectly the river
is loved by the rainfall – I
would have such friends

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

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. Kingdoms have been razed
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

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