Poem: Effusion

effusion

I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of you,
But it is only now, dream diamonds poured
Into the cup of flesh that I come face to face
With what I’ve most desired – this being of magic,
This anarchist of perfection, offering me a mirror
Of all I most love within myself.

I want to give myself to you,
To offer every inch and acre of my heart to you
For your delight and delectation –
I am at your disposal,
To observe, listen, engage, worship,
To play earpiece to all you have to say
Even if it undoes me in the expressing

Because all I want is to love you,
Freely, truly, without fear or duplicity,
But to love you openly would be to change you,
To change all that made me love you;
My love would be as a teardrop on stained glass,
A maggot infesting a fresh repast

So, as I watch you, talking animatedly opposite me,
I must pretend that I am not there,
That I am not a being with arms, legs,
With sensations that wish to be expressed through them,
That there is nothing for me to reach towards;
I am merely the eye through which you look at yourself,

Because you cannot touch a painting while the ink is wet,
Read a perfect poem through grasping fingers;
All I can do is read, and read, and read you,
And pray the turning of your pages never ends

For the sake of civility,
I will pretend we are equals,
Even if I only exalt myself through worshipping you,
Through appreciating you are the totality
I have ever been reaching towards

Would a kiss fracture the perfection of that glass?
Would a too sincere caress soil a perfect world
That has no desire to be disturbed?

I am only a peasant,
A poet crying outside castle walls;
I am no warrior,
No aggressive invader,

All I can hope is that as my tears mingle with your stone,
We can find a way to be together and alone,
So I can kiss the stained glass of your beauty,
Without leaving a whisper of ripples in the water

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Poem: The Galleries

beach

I.
Come, link your arm in mine,
To the soft rustle of your dress,
We’ll walk the galleries together,
Footsteps slow, each pivot of your heel
A timeless nexus between breath’s motion

Can you hear the wind in this painting, my love?
The way the willows bend
To the violent kiss of the wind,
Our feet kissing the floor’s tessellations,
The deprivations and regressions of our lonely imaginations

May we, like needlework,
Frame the softness of our silence,
Encase it in a warm crystal, without borders,
All our marvellous moments,
Orbed in a serenity,
Hushing all who observe it

Now my legs are bleeding,
The winds blow too cold,
And the distance of your dress
Makes me nervous

No more do stilettos practice echolocation,
Like bats, trapped by window glass,
Giving up on their escape,
Enwombed in ennui,
She perches nervously on me;
Her talons spell disaster
For all I’ve hoped to be

II.
Now, in the sand dunes,
Skirted by skylarks,
The particles create skirmishes
From the fickleness of fractals

All the weft of stranded sea creatures,
The wet footprints of pebbles,
The mad dance of Pembrokeshire,
And the engrams it engraves

But how am I meant to feel a thing
With all these petticoats about me?
The friction of sand flaying my labia,
My vulva, the corseted hermaphroditic impulse,
To be lonely, to belong, to be free

I can never achieve them all,
Reach a self of holy Trimurti,
Watching other kites fly,
Too much shame to fly my own

Shame, always shame,
Keeps my love subdued,
Puts fear in men and women,
Leading me to conclude:

I am my own asylum,
The bonds of my own containment,
The extinction of my only freedom,
My antlers on the walls,

I should never have come to the beach,
Too full of my sadness’s singing,
Always mouthed by the sea,
Too full of my sadness’s meaning,
An unbearably poignant triptych,
Placing a coffin in my heart,

Never a Lady beside me,
Always a man apart

Poem: The Fruits of Sadness

tree heart

From an unexpected distance
A cannonball hit me in the heart,
Blood throstled from my vena cava
And coronary chambers, erupting like a fountain,
From this new mouth in my breast bone

There was no one to hear it speak, to help,
In this ashen desert, no flashes, no searchlights,
Only explosions to warm me, ruptured and bleeding
Into the blackened soil, rich with the loam
Of turbid hurt

With the swiftness of a swallow
The blood-loss visions began,
The bleached skeleton men dropped seeds into my chest,
Feeding that mouth, massaging my dripping arteries
Into terms of acquiescence

Then the thing began to take root,
All those barked fingers peeling through vertebrae,
Rending my skin to seek the soil,
Tendrils raping the gaping mouths of my veins,
Transforming my torso into a suffering, green plexus

Soon my thorax was a hunk of wood,
My oaken heart blossomed with a pain so magnificent
It nailed me to the ground

It was still winter,
No leaves came,
Birds perched sad on my naked branches,
Harvesting the haemoglobin dripping from my buds

No symbol of hope is intended in this,
Just a dying heart,
Turned, Daphne-like, into a tree,
And all the inevitable life that comes with it

 

Poem: Sharing Wildness

shaman.jpg

Who’s the one sitting on all the rockets,
Sacral and root chakra store the furnace,
Smouldering inside from spine to skull,
I feel the intensity of desire,
Of Karma’s strange pull

I hoped if I got to know you,
I could nip it in the bud,
Stop the running bath water becoming a flood,

But my ploy failed,
Prevention only furthered the fuse,
Crackling towards personal demolition

It’s always like this,
Having to make myself anew,
Each time Venus’s arrow goes through,

But waiting in the trees,
The camouflaged hunter,
Tries to conceal his internal disorder,

To dazzle and misdirect
With the fake state of his warriorhood,

Because truth takes time to put into words,
Like the firing of bullets,
Your aim must be good,

And the timing perfect,
Or the proficiency of your kill,
Results in the destruction of your imperfect will

Let’s leave the hunting metaphor,
I refuse to play predator,
Putting myself in your sights,
Preparing the onslaught,
Hoping as I catch you, I will also be caught

A mutual capture of assured finesse,
Not made to tame, but to share wildness

Poem: Autopsy of Obsession

munch

There are days when I turn into the very spitfire of rage,
Imagining each of my corners has the sharpness of a blade,
In the mutated tree of my thoughts, barbed wire epidermis,
Pierces all the women inhabiting my fantasies,
The dramatis personae of my harvested whimsies,
Of dresses clung to wet-mouthed thoughts,
Ill-advised courtship indulged in draughts

Sex only comes into it as a primordial energy,
An intellectual game,
Most of my philandering I do in my mind,
Dreams of infidelity help me unwind,

But, if unfaithful, then unfaithful to what?
To the contrived concatenation of feudal civilization,
To the Christian relic of unhallowed churches,
Doomed to lie in the dust of theology,

I merely want to be there,
To have your aroma,
To be the observer of your wit’s Passover,
To have a figurehead I can quietly worship,
To give my obsession a cathexis, a direction,

There need be no passing of organs, of fluids,
Of kisses stolen from needle armpits,
There need be no moisture from dewy mornings,
To taste your dress when kindled with grasses

If push came to shove, then shove I would not,
Sooner crying into your lap,
Than allowing myself to weep through my phallus,
I want a friend who is sharper than a friend,
From whom I will always taste the love of tension,
An uncertain comfort that needn’t be mentioned

Never sure I truly do,
When I say ‘I love thee true’
Loving truer, having something to love,
As below, so is it above,

Poem: In The Midst

crocus_headstones.jpg

In the midst of Death, we are in Life,
Where green hollows give riot to full-flower thoughts,
To the mocking of yaffle and titian speedwell,
Benches so little sat on, grasses grow between their ribs,
Reclaiming to ruin, ivy-bound

The beauty of tombs almost justifies the killing,
Lichen UFOing in annular growth,
The space between songs
Are the lips of the bell,
Kissing your hours into subsistence

Fed on the flesh of sundial birdsong,
When shadows are secondary
To the sovereignty of light,
Corpses exploding into bluebells,
Fully-clappered, with the eternal pulsation
Of several Spring seconds

All is complete in the green of young leaf,
Pointing to where eternity beckons

 

Poem: The Other

David-Barnes-DBA6-8HQ-Welsh-Hill-Farm

The light always falls on Llanwenarth,
Yet indirectly, rays knifing through clouds,
Exploding from stitchwort, and the soft glow
Of yew-secreted corridors of violets

Light needn’t come in a bang, but a whimper,
A half-glimpsed twitch, an erotic moan,
The verge-dusk exposure of beauty cradled
In uncertain twilight, incubation by snow,

Yet stones can only birth themselves
From the bones of others,
Hearkening to the cries
Echoing against their cavities,
Like lover nestled in caverns of lover,
Joy-pain of Self confronting the Other

Poem: Warring States

the-wake-up-spring

The pressure is mounting,
Perched on a branch, in a matrix of lust,
Entirely invested in the warp and weft,
The want and hunger for shape and colour,
I cannot ignore that iridescent sheen of red,
That just-so poise of geometric isolation,
I must assimilate it – take it into my heart,
Make peripheries crumble in deliquesced wanting,
The insanity of a smell that arouses taking,

It makes me quiver,
A shaking, desiring, eye-captured thing,
Prostituted to my own senses,
The irresistible blister of this itching cathexis,
Turning me into the prisoner of my own libidinous
Investments

Are you my enemy,
Or are you my lover?
I cannot distinguish anger from desire,
The sacral pulse of over-strained flesh,
Of celibacy combined with concupiscence

Because in violence,
There is the clawing away of skin,
Unplugged blood vessels,
There is the maggoty worming
For interiorization intense

And in lust,
The tender drill-bits are no less integral,
Fingers are knives that pierce to the essential,
The sadomasochism of simply being yourself,
When that ‘self’ is a spasm of wanting

Then I become nothing less than a bear,
Tearing out its opponent’s throat,
Like the cruel Jazz musician,
Who kills you with a single note,

And hanging on to that wasp-sting of over-strained brilliance,
I will find the beauty and danger of meeting with essence

 

Poem: Shaman Sorrow

 

yeti.jpg

When we were shamans,
The whole world was our tundra,
I controlled the mellow earth,
You controlled the thunder

Ice and snow wove a web,
In which we were the spiders,
Straddling star-back in the night,
As Heaven’s only Riders

Riding through The Milky Way,
The quartz-laced, star-strewn river,
Neither was the taker,
Neither was the giver

Then called we were by knocks on wood,
Called we were by clash of stone,
Called we were by tongues of fire,
Called we were by windy moans

Together we met a sad-faced God,
A hulking beast, covered with hair,
The snowy pine wood was his home,
The snowy pine cave was his lair

He looked at us, and shook his head:
“Together, now, you cannot be;
You must go into the sky –
You must go into the sea.”

Separated we were, my love and I,
She became a golden bird,
And I became a loathsome thing,
For which The Gods have not a word

Then sun and comets came and went,
The Earth no longer was our tundra,
I no longer sang the earth,
You no longer sang the thunder

We were not shaman lovers then,
Shamans again we could never be,
Now that you are stuck up in the sky,
And I am trapped beneath the sea

But still I dream of returning snows
Long for rebirth of the tundra,
When I will control all the world,
And you – all the thunder

Poem: Song of the Skogsra

yeti.png

Note: The poem was inspired by an entry in George M. Eberhart’s two-volume encyclopaedia of Mysterious Creatures. In a section relating to Feral People, he refers to a case that took place in 17th Century Sweden, where a young man was sentenced to death for having a love affair with a ‘Skogsra’ – ‘A Wild Woman of The Wood.’ There seem to be three angles for consideration: that the being was a wise woman/shamaness with whom he was undergoing an initiation – hence why the act would have met with so much disapprobation from the Christian Authorities; that the Skogsra is a yeti/big foot-type creature (that have also been known to interbreed with humans); or that the Skogsra is a faery/feminine nature spirit. In the poem, the Skogsra is very much described as being a conflation of those first two suppositions. I hope you enjoy it.

Another day lost in this cruel world,
Another day at the gallows,
But what crime hath he commit,
This young man, so sweet and sallow?

Tender, pale, handsome was he,
But a drunken fervour crazed his eye,
He saith: “Why only in the name of love
Must the innocent be seen to die?

“I die not for love of human flesh,
No woman hath shared my pillow;
The one that I love hides in the hills,
And dances between the willows,

Chorus
“Yes, the Skogsra is my lover!
The Skogsra is my lover!
Unless I can hath my wild woman free,
I will not live for another!

“No clothes defile my true love’s skin,
No home, nor house, has she,
Her body is covered with moss-soft hairs,
That kindle a flame in me

Chorus

“She belongeth to a strange, secret race,
That live in the old, sacred woods,
The church says they are demon-folk,
But to me, her kisses taste good!

Chorus

“In the forest they found, they found us entwined,
Making love in a sweet, silken glade,
My head was between her hairy, strong legs:
In pleasance, her fingers were splayed.

“She tried to save me from these Christian brutes,
To beat them back with her mighty arms,
But they blew her down with a musket shell,
And my love was bereft of her charms.

“’Kill me now!’ I shrieked to these men,
‘Kill me now and set my heart free!
You accuse me here of savagery,
But in the mirror the true savage you’ll see!

“’For in the name of your phantom god,
Christ died on the cross for your sin,
And you kill and kill and kill all the more,
So all can die for your sins again

“’You hang me because the beast within,
Made me love the beast without,
But a beast I am, and a beast I’ll be,
Though I have no horns or a snout!’”

And so, from the gallows, they dropped him down,
Like a sad pendulum he did swing,
And it made me sad to see a young man die
With his heart such a fine, noble thing

I take it upon myself to see his legacy out,
Now into the woods do I roam;
Mind, heart and loins, lusting to find,
The place where The Wild Woman moans