recent poems

 

 

 

 

contents.

 

 

 

milton.

cargo.

history and recollection.

in & in.

calm and holy.

the young strangers.

kitten.

peter's garden.

ac) adamic.

exile.

sonnet.

sonnet 2.

sonnet 3.

angel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

milton

 

 

 

 

 

                Milton's blind. He lies there and dictates.

                 Satan's flame shines black, but it can burn,

                   the angel who had turned away from God

                   casts Milton into darkness in his turn.

 

                  He understands the glory that was light,

               light's the first-born, through which everything

                    is mediated, swiftest and most pure,

                 each explosion radiates him, radiates him.

 

                      Meditating form from formlessness

                    Milton blames the devil, but Jehovah

                set the rules and set the wheels in motion.

                   We must play his game till it is over.

 

                  God's a tyrant, vain, conceited, cruel,

                    so hypocritical we can't believe it,

                    all merciful he makes our suffering,

                  all powerful does nothing to relieve it.

 

                    Lucifer's the Lord in God's creation

                    all loss is a mirror of his yearning

                       even if we transcend separation

                        Lucifer must suffer, burning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cargo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        My baby's like the weather,

                             she's been sailing

                          smiles before she cries

                             she makes it plain

                          she's a cause of wonder

                                my relation

                             taking on my cargo

                                once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

history and recollection

 

 

 

My friends have left me

promises to ring

they have left their promises littered with their cups.

Soon the music will have gone too

I will be alone

with this history and recollection.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in and in

 

 

 

                                Each trace,

 

                              each motion and

                              each exhalation

 

                          each catch and tension,

                          each release exchanged,

 

each surface,

                      and each movement of your mouth

                       leads in and in to new depth,

 

               I'm deranged,

                each into each we're plunging and your touch

                    summons in my heart a gasp of wings

 

               I know I could expire among these flutterings.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

calm and holy

 

 

 

They are cracking eggs and hatching,

 

they are breaking loose and striking matches,

 

they are speaking like lit rooms into the night,

 

they are weaving up a wheel,

they are calm, and they are spirits.

 

The mad are often calm and holy.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the young strangers

 

 

I see the young strangers

who come out of nowhere without purpose

their eyes milky with strangeness

gazing at the madness without knowing

I sense their eyes upon me.

 

I hear the young strangers,

I hear them approaching

wordlessly demanding

needing,

not knowing what they need,

and wanting,

having lost all peace,

ejected from the garden into barren waste,

deserving everything in recompense

saying 'We have come into this world at your request'

in wordless voices summoning emotion.

 

I hear their helpless voices in the sea of being.

 

 

I feel the young strangers,

I fear their approaching,

bearing the blood of our desperate loving,

separate vessels containing the cipher,

the terrible seeds of a different life.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kitten

 

 

The kitten's dead.

I know the kitten's dying....

It's too weak to feed,

it scarcely breathes.

 

It has tiny ridges on its mouth,

a small, pale tongue,

it's black and white and ginger and its eyes are golden

but it's dying.

 

When you think somebody killed it

you just can't believe it;

think, somebody hit it

now it will not feed.

 

It didn't breathe for ages

and I squeezed it and it sort of coughed

it clicks now, when it tries,

I don't think it can swallow

there's another thought I dare not follow;

I think my daughter killed it in her make-believe.

 

 

I tried to give it milk that I had watered,

showed it to it's mother, we discussed it,

she licked and mewed and purred and tried to carry it and dropped it,

then it squeaked,

I thought my eyes would burst, I don't know what,

I called on God, but God was somewhere else;

that will have been her last cry when she dies.

 

I know she's dying by the way she lies.

 

 

After it had coughed it started crawling.

I thought that it might live

but it was running,

trying to escape what was already,

moving feeble legs that carried pain.

That was a worse death, somehow, forced to live again

a brief eternity of useless suffering.

 

 

We carry death inside us

and we carry slaughter.

 

The rage I bear within me fills my daughter.

 

I tried to give her milk that I had watered;

she is far more like me than I thought her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Peter's Garden.

 

 

 

Tulips offer up red cups of sunlight,

men prepare their lawnmowers for war.

 

 

 

Honeysuckle bursts its nipples into flower,

drifts of cherry blossom clot the gutters,

battle's joined again,

the suburbs rumble,

Nature's unsubdued between the paving-stones.

 

With vegetable patience,

subtle adaptation,

now she tries

poison-eating rats,

 

new, faster weeds,

 

fluorescent yellow,

 

golfball-coloured

 

butterflies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  AC) ADAMIC

 

 

 

 

Words are emptied, hollow with their lack,

the world's not what it was, nor what it is;

successive definitions slither back,

the place we fell from was a place like this.

 

 

Whatever we define we have to blur.

Could there be something solid, guaranteed,

between our quarantine and our desires ?

Whatever we invent we come to need,

our metaphors outlast us, make us liars;

the place we fell from is a place we never were.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    sonnet

 

 

 

 

There is a sea of dreams on which we float

(undercurrents tugging at our toes)

you may think this a cage and not a boat

but there is more to it than you suppose

the picture's wrong, and this is what it shows :

I quiver at each pulsing of your throat.

 

All the stored-up bleatings of my heart

shored up in a mirror wall of thought

here belatedly displaced in 'art'

which, underneath the tawdry sugar coat

are no more than the dreams in which I'm caught

tricked up in games to make you think I'm smart.

 

(Still there is something more, if not above

where I engage my labour with my love.)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   sonnet 2

 

 

 

 

She's a woman. Smoke coils in her hair.

She flashes like a lighthouse in a fog

illuminating all and everywhere,

drinking like a drain, laughs like a dog,

her long white neck snakes back, she barks the joke,

her eyes shine and she pierces the air

eliminating distance at a stroke.

 

I'm sick of sitting in the cold all night

she fills a room with warmth and glistening

a fuzzy laser, incoherent light,

well, she might strike a spark from anything.

If she's a story, I am listening,

she animates her story from within.

 

She's a woman.....how could I begin ?......

....as dark as flame. More beautiful than sin.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   sonnet 3

 

 

 

 

She sleeps with all my friends. That must be nice.

I like them too. I like her far too much.

She's sharp and bright and wild and brave and kind

but I am out of favour, out of touch,

out of luck and judgment, out of mind,

and I am out of reach of good advice.

 

(The proverb reads 'Once bitten, bitten twice.')

Our lives are litanies of broken threads

we tried to tie our dreams in. They've no price,

they have no purchase and no currency,

they pass among us, ghosts among the dead

illuminating us with fantasy.

 

That's how it starts, perhaps that's how it ends:

I dream of her, she sleeps with all my friends.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

exile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up here we wash on a rota,

one leg this week in the tepid water;

the air's cut off at nine

and we all practise deep forms of oblivion

until the grey dawn calls us,

blue,

with solid lumps of ice caked in our beards.

 

 

Ice forms on the surface of our tea

as we sip agonising breakfasts

in our clogs

the televisions raging

and our rib-caged dogs

snarl

and drink bitter,

long whelped out of whimpering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  angel

 

 

 

The big winds swills and whispers in my wings

 

fills my swirling sails,

 

unfurls my flags.

 

I am all spirit

and the breath draws on.

 

 

You glimpse me in your loved ones,

now and then

some object of desire might simulate

a momentary flutter of my presencing;

one glistening feather.....

 

 

I am, above all, an imaginary force,

 

fleeting, veiled, hinted by

 

the far glitter of a window into nowhere.