Poem: Kafka’s Child

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The pen follows in pain’s footsteps,

Hurrying over stony ground,
Perched precipitous over the mouths of whirlpools,
Jealousy and agony churn and ferment,
Into a brew of vintage inadequacy

To love, with so many hungry mouths,
Gawping at you, like raven’s young,
How can I hope to ask my portion –
Beg the kisses that curse my tongue?

Sad and proud,
I starve in the corner,
Minister of my own dereliction,
Kafka’s child – melancholy and wild –
Indulging the art of imperfection

So, I cut loose,
Hoping you’ll chase me,
For love’s assurance I’m not forgotten

How can I believe
You’ll truly love me,
When all below the waist is rotten?

Poem: The Argo In Llandudno

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Reading in the dark,
Searching for the words,
The secret sentences, revealing themselves
As prophecies in dense paragraphs,
Hedgerows of typeset,
Labyrinthine and thorny,
Where meaning is obscured
By the beauty of its own clarity

From promenade to pier,
Ascending The Great Orme,
My skull yeasty with hallucinations,
The purple ling, bugloss, furtive harebells,
Whispering secrets across foggy turrets

Then St. Tudno’s emerges, cliff-perched church,
Its gravestones sea-stained, purified by lichen,
My mind burdened with the history of astrology

Because the stars knit everything together,
More rawly and obscurely than a dire heart’s
Lost love, of yearning crossing over many
Lifetimes, orbits wrestling with ecliptic
And equator

These soldiers of equinoctial precession
Tell each one of our tales,
The millstone grinding Fate
From the roots of Polaris

The Argo has gone to The Underworld;
My heart rests on the head of Canopus

Poem: The Clockwork Goddess

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Not all goddesses are born timeless

Some, injecting time like heroin,
Clog their arteries with minutes and seconds,
And, wired-up to computerized clockwork,
Their flesh takes on immaculate motion

With pistons pumping in their thighs,
The fireworks of ecstasy in candelabra algorithms,
These divinities move in bits of data:
The ocean of streaming information

Every second is a surgery,
A fight against the iron,
And, to make sense of it,
In the skin-scraping rawness,
The disembowelment is a release:
Freedom from time-keeping organs

Emancipated from temporal viscera,
Through the motions of music and scalpels,
She ascends above petty constraints
And the mundane imaginations of others

In this world
Where mundanity murders magic,
And the seed-burst of genius
Is isolated and tragic

She lifts her caduceus
To the heart of the matter:
The cryptogram of truth and illusion

And stitching them together,
One painting at a time,
She is the Queen of Chaos’s Redemption

Poem: In The Beginning

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Emerging from the womb-like dark,
I wander in the garden,
Clawing past trees with cryptic bark,
To seek completion’s pardon

For half a being I only am,
No mate to caress my features,
A terrible beast called ‘a man,’
Alone among all creatures

Birds nuzzle in their nests,
Foxes huddle in their hollows,
In wretched mimicry of their love
My heart blindly follows

Unfit I am for this world,
Unfriendly and insane,
A clockwork watch designed to be
A continuum of pain

My flesh, unclothed, meets the teeth,
Of bitter, twisting thorns,
The only sound – rutting stags –
Clashing with their horns

Then rising up from the earth,
With onyx feathered wings,
Lady Night, shawled in stars,
Prophetically sings:

“I see you in your nakedness,
Wretch by the name of Adam.
Master of me you cannot be –
I will be your madam!”

With agile twist and flick of veil,
Slow reveal of pearly flesh,
The female comes to pin the male,
Sinking claws into his breast

Scarlet hair smothers me
In mad, Medusa coils,
Her voice, a melody of woven vine,
Screaming from the soil

Ears cruelly glut themselves
On panic-stricken cries;
This revelatory hypnotist
With sparkling, sapphire eyes

She bites my lip, until the juice
Of unveined blood does trickle,
Incarnadine wine flowing from
A smile so free and fickle

I feel the pressure against my chest
For which I’ve always longed;
My reality has been dismissed;
The axis of my world is gone

And falling headlong in a flash,
I see the deathly cost,
Paradise never was The Truth –
Paradise is lost

Sadly, now, disembraced,
From the arms of Circe,
Impassioned malevolence falls away
To be replaced by mercy

In a sudden shock of motion,
Hands falling from her hair,
Regarding me disdainfully,
She says: “Noli Me Tangere

“O, man, feeblest of flesh,
You cannot dance the dance of death,
Shaming death, in mortal greed,
You abjure your soul’s deepest need

“To feel the scythe in twist of skin,
Memories of skulls in ache of love,
Turning desire into sin,
The serpent flees into the grove

“Where I still rule, command the flame
Of all self-torturous yearning,
Where I still rule, command the light
Of empty churches burning.”

And, ridding me of my fleshy chains,
My heart remains imprisoned,
I cannot hear The Word of God;
I never tried to listen

Hungry, was I, to hear the song,
The chorus that always killeth,
To hear the forbidden melody,
The secret voice of Lilith

But now that tongue has silent grown,
My music’s sad undoing,
No teeth sink into my flesh,
My garden is a ruin

And so I wait for the reprise,
Of the chorus that always killeth;
To hear the never-whispered song:
The secret word of Lilith

Poem: Alchemy of Forms

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My heart is full of you,
And the throat-rattling cries of ravens,
Pulsing through the air in liquid beats –
The serrated sky my soul entreats

From Sirius, to Algol, to jewelled Aldebaran,
Over pathways of stardust to draconian Thuban,
From Castor and Pollux, the polarized twins,
The churning maelstrom in which my desire begins

Coalescing to shape in the body’s strange lands,
A victim of passion and its fevered demands,
Agony becomes bliss in the passing of time,
The sipping of blood, and the sharing of wine

The alchemy of forms is soft and profound,
Your arms encircle – your lips surround –
Of words and thoughts I will no longer teach;
Rather, let your body speak

To mine, in whispered caresses, sweet,
A temporary victory for eternal defeat,
Yet, what happier surrender, what treatise of peace,
Comes with the promise of such ecstatic release?

Poem: Deadlier Vision

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I don’t believe in innocence;
A deadlier vision ever lurks, untapped,
Unfulfilled, canker worm not yet exposed,
Too soon to see it come full bloom
Yielding the fragrance of darkness distilled

I cannot make you out,
Befogged in Neptunian mists, spindrift,
The cloaking device of lunar repression,
On what chopping block has your head lain,
The hard edge of fate so sharpened?

But you cannot make yourself invisible,
In the conspicuity of absence,
Trauma is revealed
In the coarsened thumb-marks
Still chiming on swan-like throat

The score is continuously re-written:
The fumbling of incipient notes

Poem: Silence in Tregare

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A halo of isolation offers
The certainty of distance,
A secluded cottage home –
The picture of my heart –
No one else for miles around

Intermittently, travellers pass by,
Stowaways amidst hedgerows,
Peeping through hawthorn, picketed fences,
Glances cast through book-tiered windows;
All well-weathered ruination

A winterbourne flows by, prone to flooding,
Pheasants howling stupid in far-off fields,
While mad choirs of sheep ring demented
In peals of cacophonous disaster

It is serene, but cannot be crossed-over,
Only a byway, the barest hint of hospitality,
Catering to appetites, uncultivated, impossible,

There could be parties here,
Sequins, ballrooms, celebrations,
But just the quiet domesticity
Of page following page
Is an ocean of introversion

Here, thoughts are assembled,
Seldom shared – culled or distilled
Into an idealized populace
To share with visitors of a fierce enough
Calibre to withstand psychology
So sharply displayed

James, Austen, Trollope
All write furiously in a corner,
Artists honing the perspective
Of a perfectly clarified mind,
While The Surrealists loiter
In the garden, turning sunsets
And cloudscapes into jagged
Shrapnel of thought, displayed
As cudgels of inflammatory colour,
Blending artfully into interstices
Untrammelled, unwanted

A universe, then, in image, in words,
But never quite finding a space where
Flesh can enter; and, the body, disused,
So much crumbling masonry, only caressed
By the bare knuckles of time

Joy is a weed soon uprooted;
Your sorrow is in its prime