early poems

 

 

 

 

 

cold, cold.

rose-bud.

andy and kate.

grizzle.

kiss of sea.

the weather in london.

london skyline.

hashish.

film clip.

hole.

cats.

you you you you you.

photograph of the wind.

london w 10, w9, w3, w7.

iford 1-3.

waves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cold cold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              My wet feet mark "cold, cold" within white snow.

 

               On white snow slowly melting light snow falls,

 

                the parachutes of wet snow re-thatch thatch

 

                        and ice the Japanese trees,

 

                              white on black,

 

                while I must walk to work to buy new shoes.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rose-bud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                The winter and the thought of you approach,

                    a cold nip to my bud in either case

                     a rose-bud in November air again,

                 a thin weed sprouting in a bulldozed place

 

                        This is more to me than you

                       as everything of us was anyway

                 but I am he, who once looked in your eyes

                              and said I loved

                though you did not believe me, I would say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


andy and kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

much stranged

i walk upstairs

following the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

even the mug,

later,

hid where the love was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for a moment, while i am away,

they do something beautiful and furtive on the stairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   it is my darkness

that attracts your light

      I drown it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

she decorates her eiderdown with nightfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it is my light that holds

you

flutter round me

         burning.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grizzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          Andy plays with the dog.

                 '"Yes, I know" goes the dog' thinks Andy.

                        'Yes, I know' goes the dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


kiss of sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               slow day sinks to seasons that still carry me

                                     

                                  and you

 

                               (a soft dream)

 

                             lie away in dreams

 

              i weave my wishes round you like a kiss of sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shoes

 

 

 

              My shoes are old and lax, like cardboard boats,

                 each step wrings a croak from weary toads

                a ragged snake has caught each at the throat

                 they wander, but cannot escape the roads.

 

                     We get along together pretty well

                   all three of us in need of some repair

                 but all souls suffer on the roads to Hell,

                 and suffer on the roads back out of there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

tenderness

 

 

 

Unknown we were who flew the wave,

unsure we felt it load and bless

unthankful us with what it gave

unasked, a fearful tenderness.

 

And I can feel within my mind

a need to break the dream, unless

I cannot pass the wave I find

a fearful unguessed tenderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

unexpected

 

 

 

And I alone,

I smile to think of you,

I'm happy for a while.

I wonder if I'm waiting,

maybe so,

and wait alone as everything you do

seems set to celebrate love,

or let go.

 

Well I'm bewildered, dazzled,

led and landed

long before I even tried the bait,

I wait here then, for nothing or an answer,

(dancing at the edges of your dream)

while you perform the miracles you do :

exploding bright inside the ache of fate :

 

The new,

         the real,

                   the unexpected you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

precipice

 

 

 

Warm together, two of them enough,

and perilously close again to love,

looking at the truth within a kiss,

love belittled people dangling legs

above that fearful precipice.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prisons

 

 

Deep in prisons,

there you see the truth;

gripped in the iron clanging of the state

the furtive underground builds up its laws

and seals its echelons

and rots in hate.

 

Men imprisoned organise a world

where power's naked,

guilty,

brutal,

coarse,

while in the world they came from

criminals

disguise and use and tame the same force.

 

The fault's in men,

men force it on themselves,

we've had enough of men, oh god, amen.

Give the world to women,

or perhaps,

eradicate all and renew again.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mirror to drop into.

 

 

 

                              Warm whiteness,

                         witness to my troubled sleep,

                   deep solitude I sense in us together,

                          you a refuge and a refugee.

 

                  You are redemption, and I send you word

               of gathering storms of starlight in your sky,

                for you are one (or all) and who can tell ?

                                I love you.

                Well I heard we drop forever into deepness.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

faraway things

 

 

 

The lamp-post and the wind and waiting here

for this or that, the life that darkness brings

the slow supremacy of softness

and the vague sound of faraway things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

she gone.

 

long tracks laid out reach her away;

the white dot at the window,

then no-one.

 

 

a vast red disk of sun blears down on me.

I say

'It isn't right,

she shouldn't leave at all

and not like this.......'

 

 

Love stretches with the miles,

pulls tight,

is pain.

We are both halved,

our life and laughter

 

 

cut

 

 

the train is gone.

 

I miss

 

long tracks reach her away,

the white dot at the window,

then no-one.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOATS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   he souls

                                   she souls

                                         sail

                              on the sea shoal.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nightpoem

 

 

 

 

 

 

stars too small to see I saw before I switched the light to write it.

 

 

Hello moth.

              Do you wonder what you're doing ?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

justis

 

 

 

 

Justice is a necessary lie

since nothing's fair in life,

or fair in love,

and some of us live, and soon all of us die,

and that is all,

and that is fair enough.

 

So only what you are is what you own,

and when you die,

you die,

and die alone.

 

 

Don't despair,

accept it,

even try

to dance a little,

live for life instead,

nothing's ever fair, my love, so there,

but nothing that's alive is ever dead.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


three sonnets to a dead god.

(one.)

 

no future

 

 

This will not live, since everybody dies :

the world will end,

and 'Man',

and this dry ink

expresses nothing useful, though it tries,

and everything decays.

It's true, I think.

 

I've time to write these words, and time to stop;

there's little more to tell 'posterity',

(why should it listen anyway ?)

We drop

        our few small pebbles in the endless sea.

 

 

                            But she is beauty !

                             Mortal and unwise

                     we sit and talk, not for eternity,

                            but here, and real;

   I see her through these lies :

                     it matters since it matters now,

                                                        to me.

 

                       She lives quite outside this,

                         through each short breath,

                 and life is not complete without a death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(two)

failed love poem

 

 

She is beauty

as I say she is

and she is

everything,

and she is light

but

she cannot be limited to this

and could not be contained by words I write.

 

 

I could not summon to another's mind

a vision of the way she is,

or acts.....

she dances through the webs that I design,

the poem echoes with the light it lacks.

 

(She transcends this.

She stops thought in its tracks.)

 

Verse lends her no life not already hers,

the deep soul of herself flows on and back,

leaves nothing here except a set of words.

 

                          The poem leaves her real

                            and leaves no mark,

                   goes flying on one wing into the dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(three)

 

 

 

                             WE ARE ALIVE NOW !

and that's all we've got.

 

(I can't keep her alive in measured rhyme

to pace

          eternity

immaculate,

candling the aching void of time).

 

And where are they ?

those priceless persons that his proud conceit

proclaims he'd prison up from death ?

Can you now say

they're perfectly preserved ?  They're kind and sweet ?

 

No.

They lie still and quiet.

Even names

are lost,

            forgotten,

ways they moved and smiled,

the things that lovers notice,

those slow games,

that eyes and silence play,

lost.

 

There's a while;

a long day with the weather.

 

This, unread,

                will still remain the truth.

                                            

 

                                   The god is dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

abortion poems

 

 

 

 

 

the blank page spreads.

 

my ears squeal, deaf to anything but ink

laid gently for no reason here.

 

My mind is arid, and this is no rain.

 

The parched brain sucks at fear.

 

 

 

 

 

I want to say

I wish it wouldn't happen,

but I'm sure it would

and if it will or not,

and whether it just will, or if it should;

I love you

I'll be sad to see you go.

I am not worthy of high sorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tandem

 

 

 

 

 

           A charming old tweed man comes in, wearing a handlebar

moustache.

 

 

                     His friend is carrying two tyres.

 

 

                         Perhaps they are a tandem.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather in London.

 

 

 

                        It falls on prison streets;

                    grimy windows lock sleet out to melt

                        excluded from safe fridges.

                                     

                            some exiled drunks,

                       each clothed in his warm buzz,

                          move secret journeys on.

                                     

                          The city settles, sighs,

             taxi cabs slice black strips through slick glaze,

                        each cat is its own jungle,

                            lush in tarmac dark,

         from urban alleyways come strange, high, shrieking cries,

                  I lie here in the humming of the beast.

                                     

                            Outside the window,

                              world unwinding,  

                               spiral night,   

                          each lamp-post is alert,

               car-light shadows lurch searchbeams above me;

                    come to me peace and love me.......

                  on warm evenings when my heart is happy

               the sound of traffic soothes me like the sea.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hashish

 

 

 

 

 

                                 Hashish !

 

The faint twist of it in air,

 

the blissed and wish of it in smoke

 

invests the coloured world with now

 

                                   hangs

 

like curtains that we enter through

 

drugs days to dreams

 

drops dreams to us and drifts,

 

(light lifting at the edges of you.)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

film clip

 

 

 

 

 

                             Train blurs trees,

                            the rails unwinding,

                            hurls through night

                       snakes long on silver streaks 

                             it shushes tunnels

                             streams past boxes

                echoes bare black platforms stung with light

                    makes solid places angle and depart,

                     shifts through time

                                   in river segments

                              locked on path

                  holding me and her in one bright square.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hole

 

 

 

 

                           hole is where she was.

                                     

                               come she back

                                     

                             light bursts open,

                                     

                               flood of her.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cats

 

 

 

                                 Cats stir

 

                                paws fouring

 

                          wrap sleep in fur balls.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London Skyline.

 

 

 

 

 

                 A fading light falls cruel on London now,

                   the scrubby bushes of this wilderness

                hold hordes of birds that sing an April dusk

            while buds fill green and flowers shine to darkness.

 

                             Light sets thick,

                      and grey clouds shade and break,

                                   leave,

                          lit with its own depth,

                            this red-edged blue

                  as one star opens, liquid crystal sound

                           of birds sinks silent,

                         streetlamps stud the land,

                 and underground trains rumble underground.

                                     

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you you you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  You love you plunging sacrament you want

 

                   you open secret, you incarnate screw,

 

                     flesh heaven this song ache of me

 

                          is you you you you you.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph of the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

               Birds supervise the mad leaves in their flight

              which scatters reckless from the pointless rakes

                        of cold men in cold weather;

                              trees withdraw;

                        Autumn falls through Autumn.

                               Winter breaks.

 

                 A lone, bewildered tourist walks or stands

                at Marble Arch, and traffic traps him there

                      separate within the aching wind

                   as everything is skating on thin air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


London

 

 

                                    W.10  

 

 

                          Well, warm round thing,

                         it seems we're here again

                my brittle light, enriched and filled by you

                      swells beads of amber sweetness

                               which is love,

                      to feed our growing friendship,

                               which is true.

 

 

                                    W.9

 

                 A thought of her in hollow midnight bells

                     and marks the passage of the year,

                this emptiness, this sadness leave no doubt

                             of our connection,

                           as my heart beats out,

                and midnight echoes with the thought of her.

                                     

                                     

                                    W.3

                                     

                   Witch-hazel eyes, a perfume lingering,

                 this silence is in me, the world is loud,

                       a memory dislodges, opens out,

                 is you like dreams are you are everything.

 

                    A memory of how you smile and touch,          

                      no memory could ever be enough,

                 I know you love, I know you love me, love 

                   and I love you exactly twice as much.

 

 

 

 

                                    W.7

 

                       When you speak of past affairs

                            an echo of mortality

                        frosts the instant brittle,

                               shows me time,

                pinpoints this little room within the city.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                                     

Iford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     1

 

 

                          Ragged dawn creeps open

                             spring flops out,

                 bold daffodils are drooping on limp stalks

                           the ragbag crows caw,

                          wheel above bare trees,

                      I make obeisance with crow-talk.

                                     

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

                                     2

 

                              Crows over Iford

                                turn between

                          the whale-backed downs,

                the whale-backed downs flow softly into mist

                          it is a time for silence

               and a woman's hand trails through this spring.

                                     

               Pirate crows curse dawn and her faint promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     3

 

 

                                     

            Trees store libraries of darkness in a thin embrace,

 

                   collared doves

                                      in ragged chorus

 

                  chant the name of summer in this place.

 

 

             Sunlight hung through mist gilds green like gold,

 

                                  glazes,

         honey-roasted,

                                              grass and stone;

                                     

                        air ripples to the distance,

 

                                     drowsing doves

 

                  invoke a lazy god with purrs and moans,

 

              repeat their spell as shade piles under leaves.

 

 

                    Doves lull time, they summon memory,

 

                   halt the moment, hypnotise the sight,

 

                     Summer plumbs a sunlit well in me

 

             that plunges back to dove-chants, and to sunlight.

 

 

 

 

               The landscape in the mind holds such a scene,

 

                 refracted and distilled within the brain,

 

                       and this is an imaginary time,

 

                    to be recalled when it recurs again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

waves


 A white track pushed across green rolling sea

 a white track on the long swell of the downs

 moving within motion and returning

 the off-set pattern of this symmetry

 

                                     

 

 Time and matter are themselves reflections

 there's no point that's not a point of view

 though senses cull the droll pretence of proving

 certain things are absolutely true......

 

                                     

 

 Earth and water gather up and shatter

 hidden from me by the words I say

 mind, the pale simulacrum of being

 sets a web of seeming into play

 

                                     

 Waves make all the patterns that exist

 as the sea and the chalk meet in the drumbeat of the cliff

 and the salt spray mingles with the Sussex mist


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hip-cap

 

 

 

                      We used to chant of Ho Chi Minh

                  and Mao Tse Tung tripped off our tongues

                         how gaily we rejected sin

                            when we were young.

 

                     We saw what tied our parents down

                       and offered heresy and flowers

                     that silken net has caught us now

                              and it is ours.

 

                        That revolution never turned

                    those who stayed freaks are oddities

                       all our friends are dealers in

                                commodities.

 

                          Even satire is not pure

                    John Birch is in league with Christ

                      Luther King, nailed to the door

                               is sacrificed.

 

                         We are all for bailing out

                        but cannot find a parachute

                        is this what our sentence is:

                             we must commute ?

 

                   The Rolling Stones have gathered dust

                       We're left with no alternative

                    when all our dreams are gathered up

                                  we live.