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: 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

 

Poem: Jackdaws In Love

jack

A congregation of jackdaws zigzag above a spire,
Each of their clacks a prayer of unconscious praise
The patterns dissolve and then repeat
Recombining in a thousand different ways

I’ll admit it – I am afraid of tenderness –
Of softness – of anything that can speak
Sweetly to me when I expect only indifference
And repulsion

A loving whisper can wear away a wall
Quicker than a brass band at Jericho,
And a soul-sung smile can disable
Even the most high-tech of security systems,
Leaving you defenceless and worn

But each of my cells is a jackdaw,
Sometimes cohering together in a maze of flight,
At others electing to spend lives of searching on lonely rooftops,
Dropping stolen objects onto the ground below,
To observe the laws of Caws and Effect

If a tree shan’t be my throne,
Then a throne shall be my tree,
And from the scriptural skin of spiral-spun bark,
I will offer shelter to those above and below me –
The Wooden Almshouse of the World

Just by being here, I am unchastened,
My kisses are loosened from their reins,
And seek out streams in which to bathe their secrets,
In the eddies and whirlpools of unknowing

So see me chaste,
And then unchastened,
In the clacking prayer of bird-born syllables,
Strung on every strand of the sky

 

Poem: Grandfather River

turner

Picnic in a bluebell wood,

Every step I tread feels like a pilgrimage

Towards the resolution of a mystery, that,

Geisha-like in a Schrodingerian box, evades

All comprehension 

 *

To the beat of pebbled feet besides river

Or stream, I am always learning so much

About myself – you invert me, and help

Me look at the world and myself differently

 *

In the pursuit of a dog with a stick in its mouth

Emerging from a river, I strive to emerge from a

Tide that flows deeper than I ever thought it could

But I cannot now unstick myself from the sludgy depth

Of life – even the crows play secret games – and magpies

Are behind the government of buses and trains

And I would like to be somewhere far away from here,

Somewhere roadless, pathless, trackless, where you can

Peel back the cracked skin of the centuries, and tend meekly

To your garden, where no one has yet fathomed the full onslaught

Of enclosure

For time is just a wrinkle in an old man’s brow,

In the passionate furrows of Grandfather River,

Rolling around his rocking chair bend

 *

Lurking behind it all, like an unweeded root,

Vermin in the wall, lies the deep weight of

My desire for love, for company, for riddance

Of the fevered solace solitude no longer grants

Me

And you, my dear, dear friend, you introduce me

To a gentleness I often find in water, but seldom

See in human clothes – with you, I can temporarily

Put the lid on my sorrows, and return to a simpler

Past, books and memories assure me once existed

Motherless, fatherless, brotherless, loverless,

Bereft of friends like so many limbs, I wonder

If the earth itself ever feels so lonely at being

So neglected, unrecognized, by those that

Live upon her

I could keep on writing,

But the winds are blowing me off my bench,

And to the tunes sung softly by Grandfather River,

I swim slowly round that rocking chair bend

Sonnet On A Summer’s Eve

summer.jpg

So steady the night on this soft summer’s eve,

As star seeds descend like manna from heaven,

The stillness of the scots pine fertilizes my ease,

And unmasks the demon by which my anxiety is driven,

Beneath all the chaos and dust of the world,

Is a light feather bed by tranquillity plumed,

The chaos is like two lovers wrestling on sheets,

The serenity is the mattress where their bliss is consumed,

And imbued with non-reference – the terminator of fear,

A tender consummation that nurses all wounds,

Cordelia is returned to the resanitized King Lear,

And on loving what’s lost, we no longer presume,

But cherish each beauty, the peace won by a friend,

Vowing to love them forever – faith without end

Poem: The Vial of The Night

black

I drink from the vial of the night,

Strange sips, in the groove of some

Unearthly tango, a maddening shambles

That divests me of sense’s good rhythm

 *

And in ancient Rome, at the death of some

Great dictator, you grabbed my hand with

Great excitement, to pull me into that flowing,

Serpentine procession

 *

But I had not changed my position:

I was still numb, numbless, purling out

In all directions for want of love – an

Ever-encroaching shore that licks the

Land, as statesmen thirst for war

And if I was on that sepulchre,

All my lovers, and those that loved me,

Would take turns kissing me,

And I would be apotheosized by their kisses –

Raised up and poured like a sandy equation

Into the vial of the night

 

Poem: Tender Oblivion

delville_treasures_satan1

I.

O, how can I take interest in art,

When all is within a frame encaged?

When beauty is kept from me apart,

And the words cannot escape the page?

II.

I have felt art travel through me in a body’s form,

Wrestled with finer hair than any filigree,

Keenly caressed by soft hands – by beauty torn

O, when will life beat again for me?

III.

All the genius of the world becomes as spiritless lead,

When your life-renewing bliss inspirits me not,

I lie pallid – anesthetized – in Apathy’s own bed;

A patient, unmedicated – by love’s nurses forgot

IV.

Infuse me with your blood – hatch phoenixes in my cells –

Lend me your lungs through the donation of a kiss;

Replace torpid silence with the clamour of your bells,

And if I needs must miss you – give me something to miss!

V.

Give me time – give me touch – give me a new pair of wings!

So I can take flight into realms unknown,

Show me the resistless curvature of Infinity’s rings,

And let me learn how happiness can find its home,

VI.

In the nestlings and nuzzlings of enraptured lovers, conjoined,

In The Milk Way Woman – and the star-blackened Man,

From the imperilled pageantry of illusion were we protestlessly purloined,

But how Reality teases – it will – and it can!

VII.

To satisfy your dreams in the shriek of a moment,

Inviting you into the halls of its opulent repast,

And then to be thwarted by endless postponement,

Dull cloying heaviness bereaves – leaves you aghast,

VIII.

Now tyrannized by ghosts – malignant memories –

Until that triumphal hour when your happiness returns,

Directionless, adrift, on sea-monstered seas,

By the profits of pain is your currency earned

IX.

While passion, in the meantime, is stoked in the waiting,

A fire needs contact to be quenched and subdued,

With emotion-filled waters – it yearns for the mating –

It gives up the pursuit on being pursued

X.

What then? What then? Only you can decide

If from this gallery I am ghostlessly removed,

Over-fathom me with your waters –pulse in your tide –

May this pale, languorous statute with frail flesh be renewed

XI.

For, if flesh must be frail – I want you to kill mine –

To make it wear away by being over-touched,

Rend me with your thorns – choke me with your vines –

Don’t give me just enough – but too much, too much!

XII.

I want to be consumed by the onslaught of your closeness,

To be carved apart, dismembered, by a body too soft,

Reduce to ruins my temporal fastness,

In your blood-drawing clutches lift me aloft!

XIII.

In that tender oblivion of interweaving pulsation –

You can be the stars – I will be the night –

Fill me up with a supernova’s bedazzalation!

Show me how softness can murder all might

XIV.

All might, all night, talk and breathe hard till morning,

An asthma attack – or Euphoria’s Curse?

Shock me – terrify me – give me no warning –

No time to notify coroner or hearse

XV.

I am wealthy with new passion – lustful for spending –

The merging of opposites – the serpent and the bow –

Coiling or uncoiling – ended and never-ending –

Loving the unknown in what we wish to be known

XVI.

And so I wait patiently, with impatient yearning,

Exhausted by desire – enlivened – inflamed –

And in-between two sheets, with fertility burning,

I long to hear your softly whimper my biblical name

 

Poem: Mercy’s Valediction

rain

The rain came pouring down,

And, in the cleansing impact of every

Raindrop, its self-proclaimed vortex creates

A perfect circle – a snapshot of unity straight

From The Geometer’s Compass

 *

Every raindrop peels a little bit of the past away,

Dislodging dirt, leaving pockets in the skin like chinks

In porcelain – a broken, run-down, Japanese aesthetic

That makes perfection seem not like a stranger, but an

Uninvited guest in every scar and suture

 *

And I wonder how we managed in the past,

In time’s before last, when the open cavity of

The skull was our only umbrella, and every raindrop

Ignited a neuron that suffused everything with color,

Color – color:

 *

Each raindrop a rainbow

Each raindrop a spectrum of discovery

Each raindrop a cosmos of endless unfolding

That makes you retreat into the dampness of your

Own unlooked for nakedness

 *

Those naked bodies came together out of the rain,

Their moisture-puckered skins warming through friction,

Little beadlets of love as dampened strands of hairs entwine,

Like braids of seaweed – braids of vine – flirting with the sullen

Strength of a rock – both powers to combine

Yes, pillows become castles, and a landscape

Of softness forgives the water, with Mercy’s

Calloused hands smoothing out the sands

Of competing friction and softness

 *

And all is forgiven

And all will be forgiven

When tenderness and violence kiss in forgiveness

In the pale oblivion of the sky

And even if I do not want to say goodbye,

Goodbyes are the currency of death in a

Forgiving, change-balanced world

 *

So, goodbye,

Goodbye,

Until we meet again,

Perched on the hand

Of impossible circumstance,

By the possibility of imagination’s

Power revived

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

*

 

 

Poem: Sonnet On Despair

munch

Caught in the pall of joy’s costly shadow,

Words reversed and erased, blot for blot,

Famine reigns over a once fertile meadow,

And the poet, delight-lorn, is densely distraught,

He feels hands where hands no longer linger;

Dreams are the places where the future rehearses,

Prophecies choke the larynx of the prophetic singer,

The nightmare of the present stored in history’s verses,

You start a fire – but you cannot start a fire –

Pain’s perfume pulses in smoking ashes

To be desired – and to feel desire –

All the caresses turn into rashes

When hope’s illuminated manuscript, seductively faded,

Leaves the child’s innocent heart, corrupted and jaded

 

Poem: The Waiting Room

waiting.jpg

Sitting in a waiting room, I see the piercing, pungent

Eye of God cut through the reality of the hospital’s

Environs to look penetratingly down upon me

*

“Give me hope, you blistering bastard of light!” I cry, I rail,

“O, if you must fill my heart with a poisonous pain that

Recycles itself in perpetuity, at least give me hope in an

Earth-bound after-life that comes after sadness – hope

That your light is not just an illusion, but a true realization

Of sweet happiness’s rebirth.

*

“Let not this happiness, so newly come, be so newly lost –

I know ‘the course of love seldom runs smooth,’ and

I’m inclined to doubt anything that does – but cannot I at

Least experience some stability in love? I do not expect

Anything to last forever; but after so long of living in pain

And unhappiness, cannot I at last sink fully into and be

Cleansed by my bath of love, before the plug is so hideously

Pulled?”

*

“It is the nature of your love,” accused a floating nurse,

“To become all that you love – and so become a curse –

But in invading that space, you become an object of hate,

And scare away those you would most love.”

*

“Fine! Make of me a monster – a parasite!” I said

In defence. “But it is the nature of love to invade

And be invaded – it is a holocaust – a bloody fucking

War.

*

“I am invaded by the love I feel for what I love;

Wish to invade the loved one with my love; and

Have them, in turn, invade me with their love.”

*

“Sounds like a sexual metaphor to me!”

The Coffee Machine incriminatingly hummed.

*

“This has nothing to do with sex,

As sex has nothing to do with the

Full penetration of love!”

*

“Speak for yourself – I’m just a coffee machine –

The closest I come to love is when the technician

Returns to re-stock my beans!”

*

II.

Though slightly soothed, the portal to heaven

Still open before me, uncertainty yet was found

Pacing around me, foaming like a dog-foaming

Dog.

*

“Will she? Won’t she?” I asked myself

And The Universe, watching a window-shade

Tremble flutteringly at the slow, pale anxiety

Of my flutter

*

Then I thought of those I had erstwhile loved,

And wished they would find the love elsewhere

Which to me they could not return

*

Then a pregnant nurse came in and talked of the

Spiritual investment that had become her charge;

And I thought that, if the child bore even a trace of

The happy purity that beatified her face, then I could

Stroke the black purr of my pain, knowing the world

Would soon be a better place.

*

This is what The Eye of God can show you

When you have nothing better to do

But wait

*