Poem: Salome

Salome

When stepfathers wish you to dance,
Only severed heads will suffice

While saints still live,
Your legs lie nerveless,
Taut with agony,
And not even a Zimmer frame,
Or a wooden leg,
Will help you kick The Temple
Of The Holy Sepulchre

But inspiration arrives in incestuous demands,
And the performance of bloody ablutions

Migrainous and languorous in bed,
Your heavy lids lift to the felling
Of innumerable botched and unclean blows;
By the time spine is severed from cerebellum
Why – you almost feel you could dance!

It’s almost like magic:
The moment you hear the silver platter
Tinkle with the initiate of Golgotha,
Those palsied and nerveless pins
Leap into an ecstatic frenzy

Your servants hardly know what to do

Suddenly you are a whirlwind,
A sizzling canopy of veils,
And a staccato flash
Of your blood-anointed flesh,
Is enough to make tyrants befoul their thrones

The one great act
Of your erotic life:
Demons dance alone

 

Art By Isabel Robson Instagram: englishwomaninwales

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Poem: The Invisible Man

Invisible.jpg

Once I take off my clothes
My body disappears

Like The Invisible Man,
My appearance is defined by my apparel,
And no sooner do I remove
These trappings of civility
Than I atrophy:
Ugly – evanescent

You can try and catch me at it,
This multi-dimensional burlesque –
Spiritual striptease –

But the dividing line
Between touch and visibility
Repels me from the sweetest of reaches

I am the rags you find on the street;
The limbs on the strandlines of beaches

Poem: Angrbodha’s Curse

deep time.jpg

Cutting through the withered limestone of spine,
Vertebra by vertebra, my disks slip
Into the petrified glade of deep time,
Where every minute is the full-growth of a tree trunk,
Bulging like a swollen tongue

In these ashy entrails
Where haruspices harrowed truth in soil and blood,
This the oesophagus of pearly stone,
The ache of bellied mud

You cannot bury us here

Though you encrypt us deep,
In your catacombs and sepulchres,
The memories of Earth Giant need to weep,
Amnesia gurgling into vomit

Then, our bleeding fingernails,
Scratching surface-wards,
Like vinous tendrils
Seeking sunshine for blood,
Puncture the skin
In pockmarked solace,
To rob quietude of its birth,

This is the limestone curse,
The endless memory of Earth

Poem: Blanket Burial

blanket.jpg

Waking up,
The billowing curtains, bridal veils,
Concealing the sandy reaches

Beneath white sheets, the thrill of your face
Dawn-softened, wetting your cheek
With sun-sparked kisses

Cradled in gorse,
On this grassy Welsh temple,
Your body reclining
On a broken swan feather

Like a Celtic burial
Framed in the thought
Of a delicate summer love

Interred in the earth of my gentle arms,
Where butterflies dance in swarms