Poem: Surveillance

14-Marman-Borins-google-800x600.jpg

Watch a bird in its cage,
Surveillance is enough to make us insane,
The watched pot doesn’t boil,
But blows out its own brains

When observed, I must hide or strike out,
Scurry off to hedgerow,
Use my beak,
The knife I call my mouth,
To rend muscle from tendon,
Inflict wounds to inspirit distraction

But the blood has a way of following you,
Like the leech of bad memories,
Embarrassing actions, drunken confessions,
Of night breezes blowing in past-life memories,
The toxicity of oil spill odours

Spilling the beans,
I spilled out not just my heart,
But my ignorance in a hunk of gelatinous mass,
Something to wrap tentacles around face,
The shattering of serenity,
The prat-fall from grace,
The soaked credibility of good first-impressions,
Met with cold fingers in the morning

Knowing to disbelieve hope’s mercy,
The discouragement of over-spent warning

Advertisements

Poem: Autopsy of Obsession

munch

There are days when I turn into the very spitfire of rage,
Imagining each of my corners has the sharpness of a blade,
In the mutated tree of my thoughts, barbed wire epidermis,
Pierces all the women inhabiting my fantasies,
The dramatis personae of my harvested whimsies,
Of dresses clung to wet-mouthed thoughts,
Ill-advised courtship indulged in draughts

Sex only comes into it as a primordial energy,
An intellectual game,
Most of my philandering I do in my mind,
Dreams of infidelity help me unwind,

But, if unfaithful, then unfaithful to what?
To the contrived concatenation of feudal civilization,
To the Christian relic of unhallowed churches,
Doomed to lie in the dust of theology,

I merely want to be there,
To have your aroma,
To be the observer of your wit’s Passover,
To have a figurehead I can quietly worship,
To give my obsession a cathexis, a direction,

There need be no passing of organs, of fluids,
Of kisses stolen from needle armpits,
There need be no moisture from dewy mornings,
To taste your dress when kindled with grasses

If push came to shove, then shove I would not,
Sooner crying into your lap,
Than allowing myself to weep through my phallus,
I want a friend who is sharper than a friend,
From whom I will always taste the love of tension,
An uncertain comfort that needn’t be mentioned

Never sure I truly do,
When I say ‘I love thee true’
Loving truer, having something to love,
As below, so is it above,

Poem: To Poetasters

Poetaster_Sml-300x300

There is no such thing as ‘light verse,’
Only the putrid stench of indifferent thought

This onslaught of banality shatters my tolerance,
The fragrance of flames licking to sulphur
As I sit in a furnace, devising torments,
To punish the flaccid carelessness of your empty sentiments

A wounded fury, woundingly furious,
I cannot think on the subject of publication
Without arousing tears of desperation and anger

How can I be calm,
When you feeble poetasters
Drain all blood and fury
From the emaciated corpse of poetry?

As your limp-dick words
Sprawl from the arsehole of hypnosis,
My lexicon grows rank with hateful profit,

In pursuit of genius,
I find none here,
Smashing my testicles into a hard-boiled throat,
To smother you with a tablecloth as meaningless,
Unportentous, as your verse,

I shove my thoughts into your dull labyrinth,
To boil my genius in the clogged bile ducts of your notes,
To wish against kindness,
In the lowest tiers of the Inferno,
Mediocrity will receive the keenest retribution

A little boy imagining his passing sharpness,
May have the rigour to change the world

Poem: In The Midst

crocus_headstones.jpg

In the midst of Death, we are in Life,
Where green hollows give riot to full-flower thoughts,
To the mocking of yaffle and titian speedwell,
Benches so little sat on, grasses grow between their ribs,
Reclaiming to ruin, ivy-bound

The beauty of tombs almost justifies the killing,
Lichen UFOing in annular growth,
The space between songs
Are the lips of the bell,
Kissing your hours into subsistence

Fed on the flesh of sundial birdsong,
When shadows are secondary
To the sovereignty of light,
Corpses exploding into bluebells,
Fully-clappered, with the eternal pulsation
Of several Spring seconds

All is complete in the green of young leaf,
Pointing to where eternity beckons

 

Poem: Swallows of St. Illtud’s

 

swallows

Swallows fly in and out of St. Illtud’s,
Singing mass in melodic whispers,
They do not sit still for the communion of the saints,
But dance dizzyingly with them in the air,

Perhaps they are etching Ogham on the sky,
Writing invisible vapour trails of all that’s gone by,
William Blake winks out at you from the fire place,
Fumigating with the black smoke of truth

The silting of sand trailing over vital hands,
Scratched hard by the certainty of proof

Poem: Sea, The Builder

sea arch

Counting out the change of marsh pennywort,
The Sea is the finest architect,
Thinking not of porticos, corbels,
Synthesized by this architect’s moist fingers,
The real estate of Blue Mother Sea,
Puts seaweed in the drowned lungs of singers

Her body is crystal,
Melted and given motion,
The rhythmic undulations of sparkling sapphire,
Symbol of the subconscious’s cryptic emotions

In the bellies of grey limestone caverns,
The latticework of maritime honeycombs,
Wrought with striations of ochre and quartz,
Red torsos webbing between earthed gasps
Of landmass

The fishermen will be given a separate church,
So their scent offends not the men of God,
While God himself huffs all the perfume of the world,
Caring not if it is shit or vanilla

Scurvygrass will be the fruit of your arthritis,
When the sea counts back the bricks of your digits

Poem: Thalassic Discothèque

st. margarets

Staring out from thrifted cliff,
White-rumped redshank perched on limestone
Carboniferous, views of Lydstep just beyond,
The thoughts of death, body sea thrash,
The fear and joy of feeling the ground
Beneath me breathe

I have walked away from old patterns of frustration,
Uncluttered now the deeds of dissatisfaction,
Skylarks erupting in interminable car alarm calls,
Black tar lichen autographs the walls,

Over on St. Margaret’s,
Razorbills and guillemots rejoice,
Ululating into clanking air tangoes,
The great vault of stone is a discothèque now,
Evicted, humans have been put back in their place,

But I am no intruder,
Animal enough to be granted a season pass,
I feel the serpentine pulse of coast unpeopled,
Of Pembrokeshire magic insisting on the completion
Of a malingering shaman’s soul

And turning my body into octopus arms,
Into the sea I now will roll

 

Poem: The Other

David-Barnes-DBA6-8HQ-Welsh-Hill-Farm

The light always falls on Llanwenarth,
Yet indirectly, rays knifing through clouds,
Exploding from stitchwort, and the soft glow
Of yew-secreted corridors of violets

Light needn’t come in a bang, but a whimper,
A half-glimpsed twitch, an erotic moan,
The verge-dusk exposure of beauty cradled
In uncertain twilight, incubation by snow,

Yet stones can only birth themselves
From the bones of others,
Hearkening to the cries
Echoing against their cavities,
Like lover nestled in caverns of lover,
Joy-pain of Self confronting the Other

Poem: The Immortal

immortality-of-time-milene-hertug.jpg

The Immortal sat on a tree stump,
His long, sloping forehead, a pinnacle of rock,
Robes of faded vermillion, a petrified languor,
Carved into the lineaments of his face,
An ancient parchment whereon was writ
A depth of sorrow unknowable to man

When you live forever,
Your eyes become portals sick-glutted on suffering,
Fortitude the only friend keeping you up-propped,
Crossing interminable wildernesses, clambering
Over the serried dead in their wormy trenches,
Bones powdered into rocks,
Rocks compounded into worlds,
Where new wars may be fought,
And the ugly process repeated

Unable to die, you cannot separate from it,
It lives in you, and you in it,
Passing before your eyes – a dream of dust –
An illusion cast – a spell unbroken –
Like Sisyphus, every time you think you’ve broken through,
The vapours of illusion swell up from the lagoon,
Leaving a simulacra in its place

The oak stump upon which The Immortal sat
Was the last relic of an ancient wood,
Over which he’d presided for ages uncountable,
Having tired of the tortures and endless wars
Of the stars systems through which he travelled,
He withdrew to the relative quietude of planet Earth,
Then little peopled, where he could hold converse
With volcanoes, and meditate in mid-air above
Lava fields, reigning in tranquillity aloft
The times and tides of Creation,
Where the serenity of all-pervading ocean,
Could be suddenly thwart into torment by storms,
And abruptions of equal duration, jungles sprouting
Up in the passing of a year’s breath,
Then eaten up by swamps anon

My imagination does me more credit than my pen
Can express – or so I tell you as The Immortal passed
Gently through the birth throes of pre-history,
Swimming beside giant trilobites – by ambitious
Lifeforms with spiralling flagella, and other spawn
Worked by infinity’s ingenuity, radially proliferating
In a concourse of unlikely ways, to secure their time
Upon this uncertain world – creatures some of us
Still spy in dreams and visions, long since re-housed
In the Earth’s magma core, never to be seen again

After the last Ice Age,
When the world began to take a shape
We might recognize,
The Immortal settled in the wood aforementioned.
He kept watch over the birds,
Returning fallen chicks to their nests,
He knew the names of every new bud,
And kept in discourse with the elementals
Who performed their office in these woods.
Leaf-growth, sap-rise, wing-shuffle, and silenced
Preen were the notes of his flute;
Bird call and bush-rustle were scratchings
Within his throat. He was the sacred storehouse
From which all birds gathered their songs;
The unseen muse from which robins
Derive their twelve-month rhapsody

For thousands of years, these woods went unhaunted
By unwanted men – an enchantment spread from tree
To tree to keep the peace of the place in humble perpetuity,
Preserved in the amberous damask of unfading twilight,
Enwombed in a glow, fireside lambent,
They remained in a state of ceaseless merriment,
Boycotting all seasons but Spring.
Lute, harp, and merry bells jangling
To keep the goodness in – an unpunctured yoke
Of log-snug warmth, where no tree was felled
But by the consent of the wind,
Or The Immortal’s wise sense of order

But this Golden Age could not remain forever.
As violently inconstant as the molten mountains
That gave them form, the Earth grew ripe,
Grew dizzy for change. Man spread like small-pox
Over its once fair face, carving up the land
To prostitute it to their wants.

All around the wood,
Landscapes were tarnished to suit their ways,
Land-fills, quarries, the thoughtless proliferation of waste,
Garbage everywhere man was,
And even where he was not,
Lakes gave up their dead,
Vomiting amphibious refugees,
Newts and frogs, fish fiercely hungry for legs
To escape the toxins eating into their scales,
Mountains mined, the whole world suffocated
Beneath the carapace of cement – skies criss-crossed
With fumes – rivers red with copper and rust –
Every creature and thing now marketable and priced,
Life only worth the telling of its death-hardened function,
The pleasure it can give to the luxury-fat rich

The Immortal knew the wood’s days were numbered,
The encroachment of machine and saw not forestalled,
The spells could not stave off the men
Who lacked mind enough to know magic existed at all

The Immortal did all he could,
Pleading with interdimensional councils who might intervene:

“Take me!” he implored. “Let me sacrifice my immortality,
And infuse it in the soil of this wood,
So these trees will be axe-impervious as diamond flesh,
And the birdsong as though music from an eternal book
Inked Akashic upon the sky. Let there be at least one place
Upon the Earth where man’s murderous fingers cannot pry.”

But The Council would not give their consent –
Too much Karma and interdimensional red tape.

“An immortal born must immortal be,
Quitless of time or the tides of the sea.”

And so he saw it done:
Every tree cut down –
Every bird unhoused –
Every spirit cast out to be reborn
As a curse upon those diseased enough
To quit them

Which is why you see him here now,
On the un-uprooted stump of the last remaining oak,

And as grief runs proportionate to the lives its afflicts,
I don’t know if I’ll ever have the comfort,
Or the sadness,
To watch The Immortal move on

A Naturalist’s Plea: Don’t Mow Your Law

British-Butterflies1

I’m sure all of you are familiar with the crisis affecting the depletion of the bee population. I’m sure it upsets you, as it does me, and you may even have shared videos on the subject. But, if you really care, and want to make a difference, here’s a little something you can do:

 
If you have a lawn with wildflowers/weeds growing on it, DON’T MOW IT! I don’t care what denatured, anal human part of you thinks it looks ‘messy,’ you are not making things ‘neater’ – you are destroying a habitat essential to the life-needs of bees, butterflies, and birds, to say nothing of other species. By reducing their already fragmented habitats, you are only making the planet more unliveable for them, and ourselves as a consequence.

 
Two of the biggest causes of animal depopulation is habitat fragmentation and the modernization of previously nature-tolerant agricultural practises. Instead of mowing your lawn, let wildflowers grow, or purposefully cultivate them, rather than planting shop-bought, non-native/cultivated flowers which have next to no ecological purpose for bees/butterflies. Wait until the flowers have died to mow it. Is that really too much to ask?

 
Thank you for reading.