Poem: Llanthony Basin

llanthony

My soul is a lake,
And, pooling into its recesses,
All the abstractions of the universe

From the high arching sky,
To the electric density of stone,
All the love of the heavens
Runneth off the mountains
Into the basin of my soul

Jackdaws and swallows,
Reveal how my thoughts are keen
To swoop ecstatic in these empty spaces –
To explore the scintillant potency of the air,
And the transcendent joy it seems to promise

Taking off my cowl,
Letting my heathy pate run wild with hair,
I leave the monastery,
And climb the mountains
To be compressed by the feet of God

My heart is a wound that runneth free,
And my spine is an iron rod

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Poem: The Goldfinch and The Phoenix

phoenix-lisbeth-m-sandvik
Sometimes birds emerge from the snow,
Frosted with scarlet – fresh indigo
And beaks become lips in the turn of a kiss
When the phoenix moults feathers and petals

With the wind-march wail of finger-lost wings,
The song ever changes when the lyre bird sings,
And we must all sacrifice our earthly delights
And the lure of diamond-flesh metals

When the promise of flight, luxurious and rare,
Breaks up the barrier – the clouds of despair –
And the benighted soul, perceiving its goal,
Bursts into song of starlit creation

And hearing those urgent, argent melodies,
Redolent of otherworldly memories,
The phoenix burns in a fantastic return
Beyond the chains of worldly dejection

With wings growing from a scarified back,
Flight is the art of perfection

Poem: My Heart Scuttled Sideways

Crab.jpg

Beneath its shell,
Those waltzing ramparts of tender meat,
I scurried from the obtrusions of seagulls,
A dancer on ten legs,
Wounded wet retreat

With starfish in abeyance,
Dead bodies colonize the beaches,
The footsteps of men in danger,
Unloading cargo,
Purloined from wreckless reaches,

Now, as a human,
Shivering in houses of ship-built timber,
Your breasts hold back the cold,
And frozen breath,
Betrays the taste of winter

I cannot carry their mirthless warmth,
That history eats for dinner,
To forgive myself in thirstless thanks;
The cancelled pages of the beginner