Poem: Fifth Business

Living on the peripheries
Of the lives of others,
The moral compass tires
Of a clockwork self-smothered

What would it take
To yield to desire –
To crawl out of the mud,
Leap into the fire?

The Hermit, The Hierophant,
The Purveyor of wisdom
Is traitor to the cause
Of Pleasure’s Kingdom

But, if my body unbound
From the strictures of learning
Could give vent to the heartbeats
Systolic with yearning

If a love unencumbered –
(It snakes and it worms,
Through the bodies and souls
Of disparate forms) –

Could find full expression
In radical intimacy
No boundaries imposed
On sensuality’s liberty . . .

But how to break free
From self-imposed chains,
Clinging like barbed wire
To my mortal remains?

Let me live again
In a banquet of touching,
Orgiastic and madcap;
Hands tenderly clutching

At skin, and the spirit
It seductively defines,
The curves and the contours
Of nature’s fine lines

So, let’s raise a toast
To the burning ambition
Unclasping the manacles
Of Passion’s Fruition

And with a heave and a sigh,
Of mutual release
We’ll lay the table
For Tomorrow’s New Feast

Poem: The Botanist’s Dream

 

red

On the other side of The Moon,

Where I pop my ulcers in erratic

Lamplight, surrounded by labcoats,

And the crater-marked scalpels

Of solar opposition

 

 

It could be worse,

Indeed, it’s laughably celestial,

The endless botanical excursions

To jungles amassed on gaseous planets

 

 

Why, just the other day,

I encountered a rare plant,

An exotic herb, milky, iridescent,

That all but begged me to ingest it –

Sending out psychic tendrils

To filter unguents in the unparalleled

Chambers of my nervous detritus

 

 

Should I call it detritus?

Nay, for amongst my ruins,

There are temples, sacred complexes,

Still capable of being salvaged

 

 

As I meditatively groomed the beard on my face,

I became conscious of another face,

An inner face,

The kind that knows no deceit,

And can only smile

Into the blinding eye of Truth

 

 

On that jungle floor, I sweated,

While my companions, oblivious,

Could not detect the magnetic

Stirring of my body etheric,

The enchantment of a diseased

Sensorium, finding wellness again

 

 

When your skin

Becomes the pigments of star paint,

The colour tossed wildly onto reality’s

Canvas, I’ll sail to every planet

In search of this pigment

This divine nectar of the gods

Refined into dream dust

Phase 2: The Muse Of Unceasing Loneliness

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I am bored of myself. I am waiting to be subsumed by something greater. Like the great outcasts, the living shrapnel of the shoreline, I am waiting for the next movement, for the profound yet deadly adagio, to glut itself on my body. It is this host of Neptune, this ceaseless undulant body, that I come here to consecrate, and, in the process, be consecrated by in turn.

 
My childhood was a wet, timeless sea. I masturbated in the forests; fertilised my undeveloped womb with air-fed lichen. Found secret castles, ruins in the woodland, unmentioned in maps, or historical documents. On endless summer days, I had acres of solitude to fill; sharp infinities of loneliness, set to a soundtrack of visual and audible waveforms.

 
It’s is strange that I should always feel nostalgia for those periods in my life I was at my loneliest. That I feel the need to revisit them, to understand them, as though there was a sacredness to the sorrow I miss and yearn for during life’s more temperate moments.
Perhaps it is that divine compensation again. All that emptiness to be filled up by a harrowing divinity. Your soul, an empty field of activity, awaiting the scythe of harvest.
At such times, The Moon Goddess and I, regard each other from a distance. I, ensconced on a book-strewn sofa; while she, sullen, mysterious, huddles in the bay of my window, hugging her knees, her eyes wide, unsleeping, unblinking –obsessed with never missing what the rest of us shut out.

 
You cannot have a conversation with this woman. She abhors description – only soundless telepathy. If you were to recite to her the contents of your shopping list, in depraved vengeance, she would rip out your innards with long sharp nails, and decorate them with daises.

 

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Her hair is black and matted. Cluttered with the brambles of the night, she wears anxious thoughts as her headband. In this respect, she has never seen reality, because she is so enamoured with a million paranoid possibilities, she has gifted her life to the exploration of them.

 
She is not here to talk. She is here, because she knows I belong to her. And, like every good mother, she must tend to her children, to ensure they make good their inheritance of delusions.

 
It is not only at night she comes. She can appear to you at any time. Today she arrived at mid-day, when the sun was just slinking off the meridian. In conjugal disharmony with her passing husband, Pluto, I suffered the spiritual equivalent of a forcible lobotomy, the stolen spear in the brainstem – the one that makes you ache to pull off your skin, and wear something a little less harrowing; the meal of curses that puts a lead weight in your body, and makes you wonder if you’ll ever again feel peace or contentment.

 
It is not an easy relationship. You have to accept a lot of unpleasant things – not only harsh realities, been even harsher unrealities. You have to admit that unimaginable pain can be the most giving of lovers, and pleasure, the most vampirically selfish.

 

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Most of all, this phase of The Goddess despises indifference. Those who are not soaked up with the mortal unrelief of careworn agonies are her bitterest enemies. If she and Reason were ever to meet face-to-face, she would bite him with teeth, sharp and ravenous. She hates those who do not love; and even more zealously, those that deny its existence. For her, love is a crusade, a bitter battle, that pits idealists against stoic apathy. She would kill each and every last person now living, if, in their final moments, she could get them to see but a gleam of its glory.

 
I’ve known her for a long time.

 
She lovingly held my head underwater during my long years of seclusion; chained me to seaweed in the depths of the ocean. It is, through her, that I am on nodding terms with Sedna, Inuit goddess of Victims and their glories. She taught me the art of feeling sorry for myself; for digging into pain, like a well-stocked larder. She has looked deeply into my eyes during every sickness; has laughed hysterically when I thought I was cured.

 
You’ll all have met her at different times in your life. At moments of solitary inebriation and suicidal ideation. She sat and watched when you were too scared to leave the house; she put the precious liquid in the secret syringe every angel hides in its wing. She is the overdose that makes you comatose, yet does not invite death to share your pillow.

 
I saw a painting of her once. It was horrifyingly accurate in the most flawed and inaccurate way. But, it was not long before the gallery owner turned its face to the wall, and, eventually, scrapped the whole canvas, using it as wallpaper in a lunatic’s asylum.

 
I think she’s gone now. But, you never can tell.

 

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Poem: The Secret Commonwealth

secret

When our world wanes,
Theirs waxes

While we are in the depths of winter,
Fern-curled, involute,
A dying ember in the throat of December

That’s when sparks collide,
Green men thawing in solstitial madness,
Each one alert to seedbursts –
The collected secrets of an invisible nation

Under the oaks,
When The Commonwealth is in session,
The senators pour forth from acorn cups
The nectar of their wisdom

With the elemental refrain
Of ancients, worn and weary,
Dancing in the rain, souls unchained
From decay’s fertile misery

Their faces carved on misericords,
Infecting the pews of churches,
Grotesque mouths, spewing leaves,
Yew berries and hemlocks weaves,
Will see them all deserted

When the primal temple,
The faery faith,
From the soil is resurrected,
Tired monotheists, clutching straws,
To paganism defected

Poem: Moth Messenger

moth

 

Moth majestic, battering my window,
Wings insistent, the arms of nocturne,
Reaching for a silent thought,
Symbolic revenant in a world of loss

In the lap of Hecate, dark lunar energy,
Patterns caressed by darkened hands,
A barrier of invisible magic
Barricades you from hinterlands

Introvert, internal, innerworldly,
A world of light in caverns wrought
Of land-locked gravity’s downward motion
Far away from Moths’ silver thoughts

Yet trapping starlight, far-off glaciers,
By which you tacitly navigate,
Never divulging the secret language
Teaching humans of their fate

Like Raukatauri, Maori goddess,
Divinity strained – legends dilute –
Hiding away moth majestic,
In the hollows of a sacred flute

Poem: Graveside Vigil

vigil

People never really die

Perishing in the vapour of thought,
A tracery of phenomena,
Resonance of words, actions,
Attributing to the infinite
The loitering of incense, trailing
Never-ending transience

From that cold church in Pembroke,
Where, bloody-robed, the curse of Cromwell,
Wet his blade
In the font of my throat,
Witnessed by rood screens and statuary

Now everywhere I see The Virgin,
Clutching her wheat sheaf star,
From the cliffs of thrift,
Along the coast,
Reflecting wave-worn Icelandic spar

The body of the butchered giant,
Is the oak without arms or legs,
Offering hope to all the fallen
Who must now starve or beg

Poem: Feathered Lands

lay

Feathered lands settling on sunset skies,
Blackbirds whispering codes
Well-versed in melodic intrigue,
Prickled all over
By broom-blossom belle-dames,
A net of nerve-endings
Emanating from a nervous system
Incapable of forgetting

From chords strung on moon-bent harp,
The host of Venus on ecliptic string,
Puppetry of stars, jarred by serenity,
Dial tones of birds on the wing

Poem: Putting Out Branches

branches

I see you in everyone,
And everyone in you,

Tracing back along goddess roots,
The mycelial strands of love
Tapped into the forest floor,
Of hair curled, unstraightened,
Twisted into a wealth of loamy
Soil for my hands to cradle
The soft fertility of dreams

With each magnetic pulse,
Each flick of an electric book’s pages,
I’m taken back to The Dreamtime,
To the frozen geometric history,
Where colour therapy, coffee cells,
Thaw on The Event Horizon

Black Holes eat Space
As well as Time.
Those hungry maws
At the centre of the Universe –
Who knows what other dimensions
They consume to feed
The Saturnian Godhead?

Along dusty rings
And other corridors of space,
There are always more thoughts to furrow,
Dreams to till in the emptiness,
The free-flowing fields of magnetism,
The Doppler Effect of chasing sirens,
And V-Formations overhead

Everyday, I put out new branches,
Rooted in eternity’s bed.

II.
I’ve been a slow-mover, yes,
But these branches are just beginning
To find their purpose,
Their desire-driven osmosis,
Disordered, disfigured by time,
Diluting things in a homeopathic
Deluge

Some people have internal orbits,
Moving quickly as moons,
Mercury’s 88 days,

But, I, a Kuiper-Belt Object,
Erratic, far-flung,
Eccentric, elliptic,
Not moving over years, but lifetimes,
Offering injections of impetus
To scattered generations,
Yet so dilute, unfocused, in my own –
A scattered disk,
A nebular pulse,
An asteroid belt of fractured intentions,
Hanging loose around a solar waist,

Somewhere, I reside in an intergalactic monastery,
Meditating in the interstitial fluid of the cosmos,
A vista of infinite horizons, milking the follicles
Of the blue-skinned, unbending,
The Aether-God and his pregnant hollow,
His amniotic wombs of sky,

Yet, here, I loiter in coffee shops,
Rain-soaked valleys,
Clinging to rocks
Like lichen on the faces
Of megaliths, grounded and hoary,

Frenetic, yet as limping,
As slow-moving Kronos,
Who carves out limitations,
The birth scars of The Finite,
The exit and entrance points
Of equinoctial abrasions,
Where the crushed cells,
Haemorrhage into purpose,

III.
Then the rush of blood,
The Uzi-burst of aggressive adrenals,
The restlessness in the night,
The sudden awareness of extravagant grandeur;
Of all the ambitions to be compressed
Into lunations and bone-crushing cycles

Eventually, the private must become public,
The abstract must be fished with the scales
Of practical, earthly, lead, even if silvered
With the mineral veins of panspermic
Meteorites, venturing to add lives
To barren rocks; the trees that form
The Jungles

IV.
The minimal albedo of rain-mirrored cobbles,
Reminds me this all began with musings
On your pillow-stormed hair –
The post-coital look you detest so much –
But which filters like coffee grinds
In my cafetiere idleness,
Keats would’ve lauded
As Romantic Indolence;
A state to be venerated
As sacred petals,
Hawthorn blossoms, over-eager,
In March’s love-lust and excitable anger

There’s no resolution to something as searching
As a mistle thrush’s melismata

 

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Poem: Vulcan’s Furnace

 

Heff

All words give birth to time,
Carving timelessness out of river-moulded
Landscapes, each frisson of syntax, sifting
The soils, harvesting memories, beleaguered,
Unburdened

What fruit will come out of this
Terrible furnace?
This word-mess of torches,
Emptying pity into mouths of sickness,
Clawing through caverns of unbearable thickness

Each second explodes in a radial pattern,
Symptomatic of a cosmos
Forged in a furnace,
Pounded on an anvil
Of microbial brilliance,
The stardust and starlight
Of a nebular uterus

Kicking Kronos in the teeth,
I chew on his dentures,
And crumble the shards
Into compendia of learning,
A thousand libraries,
All built from the incisors
Of a devourer too old to consume

Time ravels and unravels again,
While Penelope sits at her loom