Poem: Barefoot Up The Sugarloaf

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It all started with a pair of feet.

Wishing to explore themselves, they explored

The world, walking hill and holloway, flirting with

Brooks, and immersing themselves in bogs, as the

Thistles and bracken rose up over their heads,

And beetles became the best of friends

 

I could kiss your face the way my feet kiss the ground,

Wrapping around the earth like a monkey’s fable, and

Skipping down The Sugarloaf like a wind-trodden satyr,

Getting stuck in places even the sheep do not roam,

And painting myself into the waste patches left by

Ancient UFOs

 

You can re-imagine the land up here,

Hedgerows the seams in a patchwork quilt,

Lumpy where the land has been well-slept in,

Waiting to be smoothed out by a lazy hand,

All the towns just a bad case of Athlete’s foot

Time will soon find a way to cure

 

Yellowhammers pound nails of song into my skull,

Bleeding melodies back into the land,

Stonechats speak the language of stones –

Their song is the lilting of reborn limestone,

Wheatears wiping their white arses with the purity

Of the Welsh sky

 

And if you can’t find a better place to die,

Sweep through St. Mary’s Vale on sheets

Of Green silk, and roll your tomb into the

Sky

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Poem: Kali Makes Good

kli
Kali has put away all her severed heads
And skulls – “No longer,” says she, “will
I be a lady of gore, but a lady of love!”

“I scarcely see how you can do that!”
Interposed her pet crow, whose sole
Livelihood depended upon her ability
To combine carrion with courtship

“No, I am done with all that!” she declares,
“No more will I thrust and frug until skin is
Worn away to bone and hoof,

“I will serenade the sun, and awaken to the day
In pleated skirts – I shall ice ski across frozen wastes,
And nibble on the nipple of every nunnery –
Not in the gnawing, blood-thirsty way in which I used,
But dainty and pretty, like a new-born kitten, that has not
Yet distinguished right from wrong –
Accepting one and deploring the other!”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” scoffed The Crow,
“You were made to fuck the dust of the world.
You may work towards innocence and purity,
But you will do so with such impossible lust
And cruelty, that many would have refrained
From leaping into the grave, had you just remained
The war-hungry whore you are.”

But Kali was not the one to heed such words.
She put on her nun’s habit,
Assumed the form of a lamb,
And dawdled sweetly into the world.

II.
But once a Goddess,
Always a Goddess

Kali travelled over dusty mountains,
Through endless fields of gold,
She tickled her cunt in old stone farmhouses,
And searched in the vastness to find the clitoris
Of the world

She travelled for so long that she forgot
Who she was and became a maid on a poor
Peasant’s farm

She sucked on the tits of cattle,
And so inflamed the appetites of the she-bovines,
They would go rampaging after the bulls, and leave
Them trembling, traumatized in silage barns

III.
But then Kali forgot she was a milkmaid,
She tore off her clothes, danced across space,
Spontaneously, violently, and landed, uninvited,
On a madman’s star – and fucked him so violently,
He became sane, and afraid of his own sanity,
Doing everything he could to try and drive himself
Mad once again, like a chef trying to repeat a drunken
Recipe he knows he’ll never repeat

But Kali grew disinterested and drove herself elsewhere,
Landing on a sacred star, where sex and gender did not exist,
And peace and serenity reigned secure – within a week,
The planet was a forest of cunts and cocks – all the
Androgynous Ones were put to death, and the only
Thing more central than lust was eternal conflict and
War

IV.
Eventually the gods grew tired of this
And determined they must intervene,
And so, intercepting her as she hitched
A ride on a passing comet, they whisked
Her up to The Brahma Heaven that overlooks
The Earth

“Don’t you think you’ve done enough?”
Questioned Krishna, not knowing whether
To look amused or stern

“I don’t know who I am!” she cried
Triumphantly as a little girl, and such

Was the merriment of her ejaculated amnesia,
The whole heaven split in two, and went tumbling
Back to Earth.

V.
When she awoke, she found herself beneath
A lime tree in a German park, with a sweet,
Dirty blonde woman sat beside her, stroking
Her false tresses and curls

“How can I do it, Stephanie?” she asked her,
“I try to be pure and innocent, and yet all I
Leave behind me is carnage and war –
How can I be as sweet and as kind as you are?”

Stephanie smiled and lowered her sweet blue
Eyes to meet those of the Goddess-bound girl:

“You are not designed to be sweet,” she said,
“And you can be sweeter by far by just being
Who you are. Listen to the words of your faithful
Crow – he will not lead you wrong,”

VI.
Then night fell, and the sky was as black
As a raven’s beard, and everything shimmered
With the dense foliage of his feathers, hypnotized
By his guttural squawk
She cuddled into his plumage, and,
In the softness of that sleep, she slowly
Returned to her original form, and the
Bandolier of severed heads regrew
As she nuzzled into his fur

And, closing her eyes as peacefully
As a little girl, she dreamed happily
Of violence and war

 

Poem: Sweetness On A Rainy Night

rin
Paint peeling off an old door
Milks the memories of wood beneath,
Bereft of twig and leaf, chaotic hieroglyphs
Are gently thrummed by stochastic fingers,
Written by the pouring rain

The rain gives us all new means of passage,
Improvising pools, puddles and ad hoc brooks,
For blackbird juveniles to use as water slides,
With no more summer song to be sung for us,
The rain sings its song instead

I have prayed for this moment for a long time.
With the slippers of sleep tiptoeing on my peripheries,
I climbed into bed with the rhythms of a ghost,
And stretched out my arms until whole continents
Were warm and safe in the circumference of my
Not yet rainy embrace

Into the larval shell of your ear,
I whispered of reassurances,
And the shapes of faces that appear
In the contortions of clouds

I felt wounds – wounds that ran deeper than my own,
And I wanted to heal them – to pour honey into them –
To resurrect you from the touchlessness you feel has
Become your tomb

But with compassion so warm and cuddly,
I couldn’t help but feel perfectly sleepy,
And as I drifted off into your arms,
The rain peeled the paint away

 

Poem: Spider and Sprite

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The spider sends out thoughts from her web,
And receives thread-like messages from the web of the night,
Feeling a tug – a yearning tremor of her matrix – she calls out:

“Who goes there?
Who are you?
What do you want with me?”

But the web becomes motionless and dull,
And she wondered if her predatorial instincts
Were beginning to trick her in her old age

And somewhere, on the other side of the world,
Where night has forgotten to be itself,
And all is enwombed in perpetual light,
A little bird shifts in its nest and sighs,
The ensemble of twigs groaning against
The yearning tug of the wind,
Which slowly whispers:

“Who are you?
What do you want with me?”

And in the minds and brains of animals,
Questions are always being sallied back and forth,
And the switchboard dilates with the impersonation
Of light, and sleeping crows hardly lift their wings to
The blow of far-off musket balls

Yes, things come together,
Even as we sleep,
And spiders and owls can regain their happiness
In the suspicion of a whimper

Learning to let the heart open up,
As we are cuddled by the questions
Carried on the wind

Poem: Cracked Branch

asphalt-cracks-tree-branches

Looking at a cracked branch,
You can cram all of eternity into a single thought,
And all the multitudes of multitudes,
Need only be addressed,
By ensconcing yourself sleepily,
In a swallow’s cosy nest

In that dream of bedstraw and cracked branches,
The sky unleafs itself from its own binding,
And all the pages of history that the clouds inscribe
Time accepts hungrily as an underhand bribe

Then the Usk gives rise to trees of ripple and water,
Great pillars of river – a patriarch’s mighty daughter,
And the tides of the night, unseen in the summer,
Are concealed in the warmest souls of the them all

Little tokens of love,
On a pile of bedstraw,
Against the unsung spire of the day

 

 

Poem To St. Epiphany

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Dear Saint – I am a wanderer,
Though my pathways have been less substantial than yours,
I am not a child born of airports, found like Moses, in a basket,
On a baggage conveyor belt in Heathrow;

I was born in the nests of birds,
And in the eyries of eyeholes
Through which God sees the world

Out in the wilderness, it took me a long time
To fledge – but once my feathers burst out,
You could find me on the crosshairs of any
Cliff-face, bouncing my cries against the clouds

But you strayed to different climes,
Springing from the flipped tails of Norwegian whales,
And your good-humour is the fart joke that inspired the
Laughter of herring gulls and puffins

Diving into volcanoes, you swim through lava
Floes and lakes of sulphur, leaning the language
Of the landscape, and translating it into words

While I get lost in Welsh forests, you cycled through Berlin,
Getting caught up in bondage, and strange gothic sex clubs –
The water of life regurgitated through the leather-bound spiracle
Of a dolphin

As the female Bruce Lee, you punched your way to
Montreal, a prize-fighter of fish and scale, pounding nails
Angrily into ever-shifting floorboards, and life rafts that
Would not move at all

Now your laser-beam has turned its attention to me.
What do you want with this Celtic wild man
Who hides behind pews in abandoned churches,
And ever seeks to reside where The Green Man lurches?

Crawling out from someone’s fingernail,
I will pretend to be a tortoise,
And you, my swan, my Falkor, my dragon,
Use your claws to prise me out of my shell

A reconstruction of sunbeams,
And the dereliction of dreams,
Follow the river until it curves around the bend,

And in a tone lightly teasing,
Pleasant but never pleasing,
I begin a riddle it is not my job to end!

 

Poem: Idle Thoughts In A Chapel

vulgar

Cloistered inside myself,
A one-man monastery,
From nave to navel,
From chance to chancel,
The architecture of my thoughts spiral towards sorrow,
Desiring touch, it flees all things that make touch possible –
Growing spikes – concealing itself in thorny foliage

Yet pollen still draws bees from across the ocean,
As we are drawn by irresistible patterns of migration,
Arcing along courses, as inexorably as stars,
Drawn into conjunction or opposition

Fearing, yet seduced by one another,
We shed fire into each other’s eyes,
And melt like butter, and the silence
Of my prayers is devoted to your potentiality,
Kneeling at the altar of space

I will kneel before the holy see of your femininity,
I will eat of your body as a sacrament,
And drink of your kisses like wine,
Saying prayers in the shedding of tears,
The communion of your arms will be mine

Then, out in the graveyard,
I will bury my thoughts in the body of earth,
And the lime trees will declare the sweetest of boundaries,
Where melody shepherds us in,
As lambs into an enclosure

They’ll pass round the collection plate,
And I’ll leave a poem on it,
And I’ll declare that it is holy writ,
For it was born of your womanly glory