Poem: Café Sonata – A Fantasia

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Watching The Willow Woman come to life,

All winter, cursed in un-nurturing soil, she

Breathes as though for the first time now

That spring is here

*

Brittle branches become swinging limbs,

Thirsty roots become the tenderest of feet,

Unleafed buds become strands of blonde,

*

This creature from Ovid, this nymph, this Dryad,

This unsylvan Diana becomes a forest in herself,

The very agent of every breeze, a body of skirts,

Shawls, and fabrics that apportions beauty to

The sighing breath of the wind

*

Bored of being a tree, she becomes a woman,

A girl, and takes a spirited tour around Europe

For a year, floating through museums, dancing

With statues, supple footsteps in marble – half-

Heard cantatas on the wind

*

Europa was made solely to delight her,

That flying dove – that agent of sweetened

Disaster, spiriting down boulevards, cobblestones,

Singing to the scent of Belgian coffee, aromatic

Skyline smoked into matter

*

This flightful fantasia that can take me

So far away from where I am sat – to

France, The Alps, Belgium, Senegal –

The sunny and sun-spotted skulduggery

Of Roma where – La Dolce Vita! – she

Will fall into a fountain, slim-waisted,

The water exploding, resonantly, from

The aftershock of Anita Ekberg’s breasts –

Federico Fellini still burbling as he is

Motorboated into his grave.

*

II.

Now The Willow Tree is bored of travelling;

Whimsical for want of whimsy, she decides

To settle somewhere, to give her space to reflect,

Sinking her roots into an art-cum-coffee shop,

Where she paces around, purposefully, like an

Avian-wader, looking for fish to follow the teachings

Of her gullet, only too eager to be swallowed by her

*

Luckily, I am not a fish –

I am a tree sparrow, hopping along

A window ledge, furtively casting artistic

Glances at her, available for purchase in

My next issue of illustrations

*

From the cup of a tulip, I compose my fantasia,

Pencil lead composed from a tulip stem

*

I hold it in my beak, and make detailed

Notes about her – details of breeziness

And lithe branching legs that I will later

Stretch beyond all reason into a set of

Popular French novellas

*

III.

And what does she think of this sparrow,

Making eager notes over here, his face exhumed

From artist’s charcoal – with breadcrumbs for his

Wings? Stood behind her counter, heron-straight,

Heron-composed, until the need to fiddle with

Something in the shop, calls her daring legs away

*

He does not chitter – he does not even issue forth

A dunnock’s dripping of melodic litter – he just sits,

And sips his MOROCCAN MINT TEA, until his muse,

Or the desire to buy yet another book, calls him

Idiotically away

*

IV.

And then to a bay, some wide, glittering,

Sun-knighted bay, where sands can kiss

One’s feet, and it does not matter where

One is, whether in Africa, The Continent,

Or Barry Island,

*

All that matters is that one continues to stand here,

To be nursed by the moment, to be tenderly caressed

By invisible arms, and held by wallpaper patterns of

Hindu Gods, sparkling, glittering, and aurorically panting

To the vividity of God’s Glorious Painting

*

V.

And somewhere, on the other side of the world,

There is a baby lamb just being born, and through

His mucus-bleared eyes, all he can see is sun – sun,

Sun, sun, sun – a world of sun – a light – a corona –

A detonation of innocence beyond the threshold

Of its own awareness

*

And, in about three seconds,

He will be dimly aware that

Some sparrow has just written

About him in a blank verse poem

*

VI.

But The Willow Woman has no such knowledge –

Only her till, her counter, and her marrow bone’s

Worth of musical items

*

And in the warmth of Innocence and Ignorance

Playfully dancing, The Cafe Sonata will draw to

A close, once the coffee machine stops working

*

 

Diary: The Fox On The Kymin

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An ecstatic walk up The Kymin. For the first time in a long time, I have experienced joy in being completely alone. One is never alone in the woods. Everything here conspires to occupy your senses – bird song wreathes you in melodic clusters, and you feel the complete fullness in the emptiness of existence. The air is fresh with flavour, medicinal pine sweeping into my lungs – you just want to grasp every protruding piece of bark in your hands, like Mayan hieroglyphs, that are actually secret keys to organic space stations.

“I pause for a while by a country stile” opening onto a meadow, where, in the coming summer, one’s eyes will be blinded by bluebells. I see the visions of a century’s old boy perched on that stile, and feel impelled to access my own inner child, walking along the stile as on a bucolic tightrope, limbs wrapped around the wooden vine-posts overhead. I look down on a friend’s hilled mansion and marvel at the power altitude can lend to perspective.

I feel happy standing here – all else ceases to matter; no interruptive thirst for conversation, or brooding desire to be touched, when I am already touched by the penetrative essence of the wood. Everything glistens – every rock is a jewel – and the trunks of old trees are the gnarled faces of old men; sylvan spirits that find beauty in the grotesque.

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There are wood nymphs, too, of course – a whole panoply of fair folk, dancing in ecstatic procession behind The Spring Queen of the wood, somehow still gentle, even in the maddest of their March-mad antics.

But the view on top of The Kymin beside The Round House is unrivalled – it is addictive; you look at anything else, and it only makes you want to look at it more. There is a beauty to the cluster of town houses in that expanse of free landscape; and I pick out all the places I am used to experiencing at insect-level: the row of path-lining aspens down Vauxhall Fields – the single oak that stands as an Axis Mundi in its centre – the spire of St. Mary’s – and the many Welsh mountains beyond.

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Families chatter around the railings – unappreciative parents stuck in irritable protection mode – imagination-led children – and people picnicking in a square field circumscribed by electric wire.

It is interesting to hear how birdsong develops this time of year. Robins, who whistle so thinly, sadly, in winter, become full-throated. Blackbirds, who began singing at the end of February, uninspired, and repeating the same half-meant phrases, as though cleaning the cobwebs from their syrinxes, have now really taken to their theme. You can hear the languor-suppressed passion and excitement in every phrase they sing, occasionally taking the best-loved phrases of their combatants, and then striving to make them better, like duelling saxophonists and trumpet players in a throbbing bebop band. I have occasionally heard the explosive rapture of the blackcap, but I do not think they are in full-concerto mode quite yet.

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But, until The Universe grants me more longevity in love, Nature will remain my First Woman. I shall cling to her – hide myself in the verdancy of her bejewelled clothing; loving getting to know even smallest parts of her – the flowering of wood anemone – the perfect meditation mats of mineral-encrusted boulders – the primroses, common speedwells, forget-me-nots – the effortless affability of daffodils – the duelling riverine currents of The Monnow and The Wye.

There’s something deeply therapeutic about the sun in spring and summer; the way it penetrates your skin and sinks inside your soul, chasing even the weediest of your dark thoughts away.

But now for the crème-de-la-crème: while still sat on my woodland stile, without either of us thinking of it, a fox sauntered unexpectedly by. His coat was faded from dirt and hunger – but I was so awe-inspired, honoured, majestified at having this prince of creatures stood so near to me, that I sat there, slack-jawed, unable to look away.

But, once we’d both gotten over this little spell, as though returning to the normal rules of things, he scampered over the new-grassing meadow, intermittently looking back to see what I was doing – a fox looking back at a fox. Sylvan muse indeed!

foxx

***

There is something very shocking about spring now. I am so much impaled on the point of every moment, that each moment seems eternal. Like laying on the slope in Chippenham Park yesterday, nailed to the ground by the rays of the sun. I felt like I would always be there – and, in the intensity of mixed joy and heavy pain, I had little to prove me otherwise.

And now, sat here, blue tit and great tit beeping out to one another in crystalline Morse code, I can feel the light heaviness of that eternity again – just page and pen, page and pen – on and on into the sunset.

I’m definitely feeling healed now.

Coming up here is one of the best things I could have done.

Poem: Cardiff Central – A Poet’s Journey

don

I.

Cardiff – you have soothed and slayed me;

I need only inhabit you for the space of five

Minutes to assure myself that the madness

Of my pent-up prophecies is as nothing to the

Weather-beaten wastrels who prophesy and

Harangue on your wind-cavilled corners – even

The Mayor crawls along in a sleeping bag,

Piled-up garbage auctioneered by seagulls,

Steel bins rattle out West Indian rhythms,

And those that rave against the wind that rages

Against the too solid dreams of architect’s shopping

Bills, can find their muse in a pint – a pill – in the cold

Delectation of needful starvation – in a parka – in a tree –

In a saucer of coffee – in a needle. Like geometry hurling

Away from the simple primacy of a circle, girls and trend-

Tortured boys find ever more deviant ways in which to clothe

Themselves to conceal their hollow nothings. Noise, noise,

Everywhere, as we pilot a city that feels like a ship sailing

Drunken over vertiginous seas

II.

And then to the museum, where I navigate past Bacon,

Doig, Monet, Picasso, Daumier, and a bevy of French

Impressionists, before I find heaven in the 18th Century,

Only to be kicked out ten minutes later. I admire the

Curvature of faces – scenes from Goethe – and every

Pretty girl I see seems to be a hollow chuckle in the face

Of my celibacy. I can entertain Mediterranean phantasies

Within the safety of a frame – feel the sensuous warm winds

Of French-Italian orchards from the 1800’s – love-uplifting

Paradises so far removed from the tragicomic melancholy

Of Wale’s capital city.

III.

And no one has ever told me that I look Welsh:

French, Polish, Russian, American, Canadian,

Norwegio-Scandanavian, apocryphally European –

But never have I been observed to be a Celt in the

Country where I have haphazardly arisen. Could I

Be said to belong to this country anymore than I

Belong to this century? A classicist! A classicist!

Some idealist hangover from another aeon when

One could squawk to the cries of Aesthetics, Ideas,

And Irreligion! When to think, to speak, to read,

And to think meant more than just a brand name,

Or the production of a meaningless YouTube video

That is sure to make some yuppie millions.

IV.

And then I come to Daumier’s scene from Cervantes’

Don Quixote, and for the first time since reading it

I realized how much like the self-proclaimed knight

Of delusions I’ve been; the absurdity of my chastity

In a century that dwindles everything down to the

Freudian milestone of sex in the banal inadequacy

Of its own reduction; of my enraptured, ecstatic,

Fevered sensibility in a generation where to feel is

To be ill; to be ill is to be the pet demon of a diagnostician;

And to be diagnosed is to be sedative-dependent, kept far

Away from feelings, feelings, feelings – “O, feeling begone!

Feeling keep out!” the shop sign should say to the numb

Consumption of our over-shopped bodies – no sorrow,

No grief, no susceptibility, no surf on the surging spindrift

Of gurgling thoughts – just the pharmacy-sanctioned

Monochrome of apathy unfree and unwheeling.

V.

Now The Poet, The Knight has taken himself to a

Shopping Mall coffee shop where he can linger

In a caffeinated-delirium pretending to be Samuel

Taylor Coleridge, or Samuel Johnson, though it is

Hard to make the verses or definitions flow when

You are listening to Ed Sheeran or Justin Bieber.

Puffs of coffee brewing plumes to powdered wigs,

And a blonde on a laptop opposite holds eye

Contact with me for longer than is either healthy

Or sensible. I do not hear the rustle of petticoats,

Nor the flirtatious bird-flutter of sequined fans; only

The flurry of keys on her Apple Mac – and because

Thomas Gainsborough is not available to paint her,

Snapchat will have to do instead.

VI.

Now then comes that awkward moment when we have

Both looked over at one another too many times not

To do something about it. I posture like a coquette,

Flirting with my own hair, playfully rubbing my Arabic

Scarf against my face in the drapery of suggested eroticism.

Perhaps if this were a Jane Austen novel I could have presented

Her with my card; some boring old matriarch of social relation

Could have tendered an introduction between us – but, try as

She might, she will not be able to swipe me on Tinder – and

As there is no drunken offender to call out my name, she will

Not find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram either.

VII.

And, so, what are we to find in the beheading guillotine

Pincer of this moment? This indecisive flirtation prolonged

By tension and poetized in free-verse’s diction? I no longer

Have any legitimate reason for staying; I have drunk all the

Free cups of coffee that my charm can acquire me – I am

Like a teardrop suspended on somebody’s eyelash that is

Destined to fall, but has not yet conceived the conviction

To do so. What would any woman want with this over-

Chaste wastrel, this handsome, yet aggressively gentle

Tatterdemalion? I need more than just limbs – but thoughts,

Feelings, the voluptuous teasings of genius to arouse me;

Whatever phantasy you have of me, I will entertain it as

Much as I will demolish it, as my mind swirls along the

Arabesques of foreign geometry, and I dream of kisses

Concealed in clouds, the softness of hands, of eye-contact

Over-prolonged, until your whole universe turns into iris,

Into pupil, and you can see everything in those rivulet-

Changing colours; until you are so consumed by romance,

That lust almost tricks you – no longer a hollow product

Of bodily desire, but one of the natural outpourings of

Love.

VIII.

Ah, my skin feels like it is swimming in colour when it

Entertains such thoughts! When summer is not just an

Airy dream, but a tangible reality, and I am back in those

French orchards again, the atmosphere sucking me with

Slow delight, like a young child savouring a lollipop, or

A sex-suggesting young coquette slowly applying her

Lipstick!

IX.

And all of these agile, Hyperborean thoughts are

Accompanied by the bladder-pressing knowledge

That I really need to piss. “To pee or not to pee?”

I question, loath to leave my perfect vantage,

Wherefrom I can scribble in my notebook, and

Occasionally, tentatively, glance up at the blonde.

X.

And then the walk back to the train station, bright

Lights against darkened skies, the hint of fires on top

Of the cathedral, the flaming relique of religious

Conviction. Drunken assemblies of contemporary

Celts tossed about by their own uncertain tides,

The yawning mouths of crowded clubs invite like

Doorways into the discotheques of hell, guarded not

By Cerberus, but bloated bouncers, police mingling

With the drunkards they both protect and prosecute.

XI.

Now the train ride back home – polite conversation

With rugby fans on the platform, able to give an imitation

Of sociability, but too genteel, too alien, to fully commit to

It. A vacant seat beside me. I wonder what kind of woman

Could fill that seat – what kind of sensitive sylph could inspire

Me with love, and could commit to loving, and being loved by

Me? What will be the color of her hair? The sparkle of her eyes?

Her raison d’être? Her response to the vastness of infinite skies?

How will she inspire me, irritate me, castigate me, uplift me;

How will she understand and desire me without merely

Fetishizing me?

XII.

These lofty wonderings are disrupted by a conversation

Between some drunken Saxons who have just noticed a

Pair of women – a redhead and a brunette – who have

Had the foresight to bring a cheeseboard onto the train.

This is the all-inclusive inseparability of life, thought

Becoming reality, and reality inspiring thought.

XIII.

And I feel sober, sensible, philosophic, dull: my

Mad Welsh brethren, I cannot compete with you!

So I sleepily return to my bookish bower in Abergavenny,

Where I will be grateful for more than just sleep.

***

 

Poem: How Things Are Captured

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When the whole of life clutches at your chest,

Pectoral muscles and intercostals constricting –

That sweet angina of upward propulsion, forced

Downwards – reminding you that it is hard to breathe –

That it is hard to live – and that your imagination is dependent

Upon your body – but that your body is your imagination

*

Every sensation becomes centered in that pectoral matrix:

Tongues clatter – butterflies flutter – lungs feel sick and lucidly

Sweet in the deoxygenation of their own anatomy

*

And you reflect on how things are captured –

How to make the ephemeral immortal – how

To forget – not remember – all that needs to

Be forgotten

*

How to make a cup of tea last forever;

How to keep two pairs of arms from ever being dissevered

*

But The Eternal Memory continues, remembering all that

Needs to be forgotten, and all that shouldn’t: the little crevices

Where you keep your receipts; those little snatches of conversation

That torment you with their belaboured banality

*

But then you remember something worthwhile:

When you walked down the leas, and wondered at

Your own lack of wonder on seeing the acne scars

Of Celandine; and you hate them – hate yourself for

Hating them – you hate the recognition that you should

Be moved and feel something; yet you are unmoved and

An outcast of higher feeling; but, equally, those higher

Feelings are still there – you love them – want to kiss them –

To offset your lips as puckered petals against them – those

Little daubs of painted flax that bejewel the countryside

*

II.

You, too, can be a moment captured;

A memory amputated from someone’s side

That keeps them tossing and turning and awake

All night

*

A night of tears and agony,

On a wind-swept sofa, wave-riven and briny;

And then the bus ride back in the morning

With chaotic thoughts chorusing at desuetude’s dawning,

And you are ephiphanized with this realizing:

*

“The world is a better place with me in it,

So I am duty-bound to go on living,

Even though I find no joy or solace in existence,

And have no desire to go on living.

*

“But I do want to go on living! To really live!

Yes, I live, and I live through pain – but to live

Beyond and above pain, even while wholly

Centered within it – to be happy and unalone

For more than just a moment, but a continuum

Of happy and love-uplifted moments!

*

“But pain and sadness have become entrenched habits,

As I make myself a sponge of willingness to the sufferings

Of others: how can I give up on pain, without wrongfully

Turning my back on the pain of others?”

*

So, moments are captured; questions are captured;

And, gratefully, answers are as elusive as imaginary

Lips, and can never be said to be fully captured; while

Wrestling with the desire to distil the purity of man

Into a single sentence

*

And should you ever find that sentence,

Nail it to me, write it down, but never let

Me read it – and in the meantime I will

Venture forth with the harpoon and net

Of my retentive memory, and hunt for

More moments to capture

*

 

Sonnet: The Death Knell of Love

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Dreams when you sleep – nightmares when you rise –

A solar shadow casting out a shadow of sun;

Clouds are in the earth – not in the skies –

And pain is wrapped up in a ribbon of fun

That unravels, unrolls, purls and flows out,

Like a river of ruin, chirping with disaster,

Peeling the lips off of every smiling mouth,

And hacking at the legs that would try to run faster,

To escape, to reach – to embrace happiness,

Before that unhappy candle is snuffed into dark,

And the melody you believed assured you tenderness,

Reaches your ears as a coarse, ugly bark;

The scream of the banshee – the duellist’s lost glove –

Hollowness without comfort – the death knell of love

 

 

Poem: Tender Oblivion

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I.

O, how can I take interest in art,

When all is within a frame encaged?

When beauty is kept from me apart,

And the words cannot escape the page?

II.

I have felt art travel through me in a body’s form,

Wrestled with finer hair than any filigree,

Keenly caressed by soft hands – by beauty torn

O, when will life beat again for me?

III.

All the genius of the world becomes as spiritless lead,

When your life-renewing bliss inspirits me not,

I lie pallid – anesthetized – in Apathy’s own bed;

A patient, unmedicated – by love’s nurses forgot

IV.

Infuse me with your blood – hatch phoenixes in my cells –

Lend me your lungs through the donation of a kiss;

Replace torpid silence with the clamour of your bells,

And if I needs must miss you – give me something to miss!

V.

Give me time – give me touch – give me a new pair of wings!

So I can take flight into realms unknown,

Show me the resistless curvature of Infinity’s rings,

And let me learn how happiness can find its home,

VI.

In the nestlings and nuzzlings of enraptured lovers, conjoined,

In The Milk Way Woman – and the star-blackened Man,

From the imperilled pageantry of illusion were we protestlessly purloined,

But how Reality teases – it will – and it can!

VII.

To satisfy your dreams in the shriek of a moment,

Inviting you into the halls of its opulent repast,

And then to be thwarted by endless postponement,

Dull cloying heaviness bereaves – leaves you aghast,

VIII.

Now tyrannized by ghosts – malignant memories –

Until that triumphal hour when your happiness returns,

Directionless, adrift, on sea-monstered seas,

By the profits of pain is your currency earned

IX.

While passion, in the meantime, is stoked in the waiting,

A fire needs contact to be quenched and subdued,

With emotion-filled waters – it yearns for the mating –

It gives up the pursuit on being pursued

X.

What then? What then? Only you can decide

If from this gallery I am ghostlessly removed,

Over-fathom me with your waters –pulse in your tide –

May this pale, languorous statute with frail flesh be renewed

XI.

For, if flesh must be frail – I want you to kill mine –

To make it wear away by being over-touched,

Rend me with your thorns – choke me with your vines –

Don’t give me just enough – but too much, too much!

XII.

I want to be consumed by the onslaught of your closeness,

To be carved apart, dismembered, by a body too soft,

Reduce to ruins my temporal fastness,

In your blood-drawing clutches lift me aloft!

XIII.

In that tender oblivion of interweaving pulsation –

You can be the stars – I will be the night –

Fill me up with a supernova’s bedazzalation!

Show me how softness can murder all might

XIV.

All might, all night, talk and breathe hard till morning,

An asthma attack – or Euphoria’s Curse?

Shock me – terrify me – give me no warning –

No time to notify coroner or hearse

XV.

I am wealthy with new passion – lustful for spending –

The merging of opposites – the serpent and the bow –

Coiling or uncoiling – ended and never-ending –

Loving the unknown in what we wish to be known

XVI.

And so I wait patiently, with impatient yearning,

Exhausted by desire – enlivened – inflamed –

And in-between two sheets, with fertility burning,

I long to hear your softly whimper my biblical name

 

Poem: The Mistletoe and The Oak

normal_mistletoe_man

I.

I, the Mistletoe, on heavy oak boughs hang,

Knowing not who feels the deeper pang,

Botanists may classify me a parasite

 But in my vampirism I am devoutly contrite,

For love makes me feed, and I must feed on love,

Which is what makes me linger up here above;

Not hunger cruel – but direst need –

Do not castigate me as a nosferating weed!

But make me a crown – a tiara – a diadem green –

Up here in the treetops, by some seen and unseen,

II.

But what thinks this Oak of I in its branches bare –

Am I but a louse in its be-lichened hair?

An insect, a hookworm, a disease spheroid,

My teeth slowly draining it into the void?

Or can it idealize me a jewel – seaweed of the sky –

As I watch the clouds loiter purposefully by,

I wonder if the firmament, too, is parasitized by clouds,

Its resources drained by those star-suffocating shrouds,

Yes, life feeds on life, and dark feeds on light,

And into a shadow’s haunches light also will bite,

Teeth chasing teeth – mouth chasing mouth –

North, West, and East being consumed by The South;

Yes – hunger – desire – are the driving forces of life,

Wife desires husband – husband desires wife –

In that union, death and life propagate in vitality new,

And death robs the same trunk from which its limbs grew,

III.

So tell me, My Oak, how do you feel

As Into your life-stream I silently steal?

For though feeding on your blood, I cannot taste your thoughts –

But fain would I die if I could drink them in draughts!

Give me a pint of your reveries – a dram of your dreams –

All the myriad fancies with which your veined bark teems,

And then, My Oaken Love, I will leave off my appetite;

Give your hallowed boughs some well-earned respite,

And tumble humbly to the ground – by gravity waylaid –

A thistle-hearted lover by his heart-quenching slayed

IV.

But if you fulfil not my will – grant me ingress to your mind –

I will drink from you continuously, until you are burr-ridden and blind,

Thought-starved, I will become vicious, a heartless vampire,

A wolf whose violence is sustained by his ire,

In a feedback loop of vampirism – pain will beget pain –

The less you have to drain, the more will be drained,

Let it not come to this – freely give what I ask –

May not my haunting fingers be those that peel off your mask;

Only my loneliness hath of me a parasite created,

Hopeful dreams once ran through me – veins eagerly dilated –

But now – O, now! – I must feed on the dreams of others,

The unhappy lover, always smothering, but never to be smothered

V.

And now night inkly falls, I feel the pain of moonlight,

Into my aching flesh those moonbeams musically bite,

And the moon parasitizes me, as I parasitize the Oak,

Robbing me of my murderous currency until I am bankrupt and broke

*

And so, moon-murdered, I drop to the ground –

Ever to be discovered – never to be found

 

Poem: Mercy’s Valediction

rain

The rain came pouring down,

And, in the cleansing impact of every

Raindrop, its self-proclaimed vortex creates

A perfect circle – a snapshot of unity straight

From The Geometer’s Compass

 *

Every raindrop peels a little bit of the past away,

Dislodging dirt, leaving pockets in the skin like chinks

In porcelain – a broken, run-down, Japanese aesthetic

That makes perfection seem not like a stranger, but an

Uninvited guest in every scar and suture

 *

And I wonder how we managed in the past,

In time’s before last, when the open cavity of

The skull was our only umbrella, and every raindrop

Ignited a neuron that suffused everything with color,

Color – color:

 *

Each raindrop a rainbow

Each raindrop a spectrum of discovery

Each raindrop a cosmos of endless unfolding

That makes you retreat into the dampness of your

Own unlooked for nakedness

 *

Those naked bodies came together out of the rain,

Their moisture-puckered skins warming through friction,

Little beadlets of love as dampened strands of hairs entwine,

Like braids of seaweed – braids of vine – flirting with the sullen

Strength of a rock – both powers to combine

Yes, pillows become castles, and a landscape

Of softness forgives the water, with Mercy’s

Calloused hands smoothing out the sands

Of competing friction and softness

 *

And all is forgiven

And all will be forgiven

When tenderness and violence kiss in forgiveness

In the pale oblivion of the sky

And even if I do not want to say goodbye,

Goodbyes are the currency of death in a

Forgiving, change-balanced world

 *

So, goodbye,

Goodbye,

Until we meet again,

Perched on the hand

Of impossible circumstance,

By the possibility of imagination’s

Power revived

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

*

 

 

Poem: The Tiger of Psyche

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Jungle tiger stalking through the woods –

Who can harness your chthonian moods?

From afar, your beauty invites – inspires –

Up close, from fear’s throat suspires

A ghastly moan, as of venting steam,

The shadow of a dream fructifies a scream,

And those legendarily beguiling stripes,

Become the very daggers of the night

II.

Beauty is beauty, separated from us by leagues,

But its breath on our face terrifies us indeed,

Beauty cannot be beauty without a centre of terror,

As truth is closely cuddled by the snugness of error,

We are seduced by the smile that pirouettes on its lips,

Until our own flesh its jaws indelicately rips;

A kiss is a potential until the conjunction converges,

And from the foretaste of pleasure – danger emerges,

Foreboding a loss of control – a dissipation of self –

The lightness of delirium becomes darkness’s wealth,

Telling those that would love, and blend with their light,

And dally with lips when all is perfect and right,

That light casts shadows – and shadows must dine –

On Insecurity’s Triumph, and Paranoia’s Opium Wine,

And the candle-light setting – the triumph of romance –

Are the dwellings of Dionysus in his dangerous dance,

A trance of sublime terror – the unconscious’s prosecution,

As nimble expectations are assembled for execution

III.

In the Cathedral of the Psyche, I worship the unknown,

The place where The Tiger unmaliciously roams,

Yet, invidious, yet, for its only motive pressing,

Is to prepare all your illusions for a toothsome undressing,

Beliefs will be munched on – delusions are slaughtered –

Epiphanies wrung from you in strange, Chinese tortures

IV.

And still my body is a weapon of unmedicated suspense,

I am always too much – I am always too intense –

And I make no apology – ‘twould be a fallacious breath –

To say I’m not a creature of unspeakable depth;

Like a tiger, I don’t just want meat, but to gnaw on the bones,

To fuck Truth’s Own Self – not its illusory clones –

To get to the marrow of all I desire;

To find the spark of truth in the destruction of fire

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And in the jaws of our lovers, we find what has been, and what will be,

The Old Empire of Agony – and The New World of Reality

 

Poem: Sonnet On Despair

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Caught in the pall of joy’s costly shadow,

Words reversed and erased, blot for blot,

Famine reigns over a once fertile meadow,

And the poet, delight-lorn, is densely distraught,

He feels hands where hands no longer linger;

Dreams are the places where the future rehearses,

Prophecies choke the larynx of the prophetic singer,

The nightmare of the present stored in history’s verses,

You start a fire – but you cannot start a fire –

Pain’s perfume pulses in smoking ashes

To be desired – and to feel desire –

All the caresses turn into rashes

When hope’s illuminated manuscript, seductively faded,

Leaves the child’s innocent heart, corrupted and jaded