Poem: Llanthony Basin

llanthony

My soul is a lake,
And, pooling into its recesses,
All the abstractions of the universe

From the high arching sky,
To the electric density of stone,
All the love of the heavens
Runneth off the mountains
Into the basin of my soul

Jackdaws and swallows,
Reveal how my thoughts are keen
To swoop ecstatic in these empty spaces –
To explore the scintillant potency of the air,
And the transcendent joy it seems to promise

Taking off my cowl,
Letting my heathy pate run wild with hair,
I leave the monastery,
And climb the mountains
To be compressed by the feet of God

My heart is a wound that runneth free,
And my spine is an iron rod

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Poem: The Goldfinch and The Phoenix

phoenix-lisbeth-m-sandvik
Sometimes birds emerge from the snow,
Frosted with scarlet – fresh indigo
And beaks become lips in the turn of a kiss
When the phoenix moults feathers and petals

With the wind-march wail of finger-lost wings,
The song ever changes when the lyre bird sings,
And we must all sacrifice our earthly delights
And the lure of diamond-flesh metals

When the promise of flight, luxurious and rare,
Breaks up the barrier – the clouds of despair –
And the benighted soul, perceiving its goal,
Bursts into song of starlit creation

And hearing those urgent, argent melodies,
Redolent of otherworldly memories,
The phoenix burns in a fantastic return
Beyond the chains of worldly dejection

With wings growing from a scarified back,
Flight is the art of perfection

Poem: My Heart Scuttled Sideways

Crab.jpg

Beneath its shell,
Those waltzing ramparts of tender meat,
I scurried from the obtrusions of seagulls,
A dancer on ten legs,
Wounded wet retreat

With starfish in abeyance,
Dead bodies colonize the beaches,
The footsteps of men in danger,
Unloading cargo,
Purloined from wreckless reaches,

Now, as a human,
Shivering in houses of ship-built timber,
Your breasts hold back the cold,
And frozen breath,
Betrays the taste of winter

I cannot carry their mirthless warmth,
That history eats for dinner,
To forgive myself in thirstless thanks;
The cancelled pages of the beginner

Poem: Night Thoughts

night thoughts

When the hour grows late,
And the perfume of today’s blossoms
Amplifies its thoughts in the darkness,
Their incense igniting reveries,
In the stillness, the sweetness, the clarity,

When your feet ache
From the mischief of mountains,
Your ears glutted
On the courtly love of ravens

The way their song conjured images
Of moss-brewed droplets,
Plunging into secret pools,
In cavern echoed-couplets

Then, in the bosom, of iris-lensed stars,
Listening to the gentle hum of far-off cars,

I write you a letter in invisible ink,
Where the lines all blur, dribble in the sink,

And, to quench my longing –
Night brooks singing –
The bells, the beauty,
The twilight underpinning,

I break free of meter

And, gushing out my thoughts
In silent streams of prose,
That neither death, nor conspiracy,
Shall ever disclose

I mail my thoughts out into the ether,
On the hermetic chance of night,

Beauty shared is beauty gained,
And secrets are a lover’s delight

Poem: Re-Growth

re-growth

The tree grew out of my chest

From the black, bloody stump,
Malignant and redundant, coppiced
To death by the bleakest of winters,
Through the fogbanks and menace of tundra,
It started to put out new shoots,

Up-thrusting through the snow,
And the fears of frozen droplets,
It revealed the burst of little buds,
Tender and pregnant with promise,

Around my ribs, scarred wasted pectorals,
Mossy clumps gathered in flanks,
And skylarks sang on the bosky hill,
Where my body had lain withered, dormant,

Incubated in an ocean of soil,
My legs became a flowerbed,
And violets and anemones
Thrust through my follicles,
To laugh with the uproarious sky

It is too soon yet,
To see how these innocent saplings
Could become a mighty oak,

But in their naivety,
Reaching for the sunlight,
They learn the painful hope of growth

Poem: Diaspora, The Mother

diaspora

Dancing beneath catkined willows,
I lacerate my chest with knives and needles,
The blood streams down over my ribs
Finding fruition in my loins,

The womb gluts itself on gore,
Quaffing the dregs of still-palpitant arteries,
Its hungry mouth chomps and spits,
Dribbling orphans into the road

From there, taking up their bindles,
They scatter, solitary, over the Earth,
Never meeting, nor startling each other,
The silent colonies move sadly apart

With the web, fractured, the silk threads split,
The spider’s limbs revolt in madness,
With no ruler to knit together,
All possible joy is a demented mass

So what hope, then, when ever fertile,
The Goddess, jubilant, gives up her blood?
Ever pullulating anguished sadness,
I lament, in futility, for my lovelorn brood

Poem: Jormungandr

jorm

Gnawing into The World Tree,
The serpent’s incisors strip away the bark,
Chewing at the roots, feasting on the loam
Of the Underworld – some hidden poison,
The too discrete sting in the tail –
Forever lurks in the night-time of happiness

Slithering through the soil,
The undergrowth of half-spun whispers,
The abortion of secrets bears ugly fruit
Misbegotten on the vine,

The ripeness of futility
Sours with the dregs of time

Poem: Disclosure Obscura

Odin2

Suspended from The World Tree,
Rope digging into my wind-ravaged ankles,
Hunger gnawed at me like a toothless dog,
The spine of Atlas dwindled from view
As my sight grew befogged and dreamy

There, from that aerial vantage,
That sacred nest of hallucinations,
My misbegotten thoughts
Fledged into swarms
Of drunkest revelation

Whisked away to an elemental palace,
Enthroned on the electrical furnace of thought,
I was the guest of shadowy language,
Masquerading in a woman’s form

Disrobed of syntax and miserly grammar,
The chains cast off from symbology’s kink,
Bereft of veil to pose a question,
I beheld a deeper nudity

But lured back from the yawning abyss,
Not a word of it could I write,
The syllabaries all strangled to death,
The alphabet well-inked as night,

To dream, to see, the truth made gold,
The fulfilment of a higher sphere,
Once touched, its waters do not flow,
Untraced, its substance disappears,

The mouth, in which that tongue did lie,
Mortal shackles wastefully resist,
Keeping silence in Harpocratic oath,
Perfecting, instead, The Eternal Kiss

Poem: Wheel of Fortune

wheel

Come, past vases of Diana,
Pomegranates of Proserpina,
The shamanic contortions of Neptunian Triton,

Witness the agony of my ivory chest,
The sternum, over-real, where my soul is a guest,

The haunting procession of perfect bodies,
Wasted in the round of fortune

Unhappiness scarred on every face,
Like the carving of a tomb

Poem: Moving House

sharks-of-suburbia.jpg!Large

The body can only house so much,
Riven with terrors and night-stalking demons,
I apply for an extension –
Psychic planning permission –
Some radical self-storage
To preserve these new feelings
Disguised as furniture

With cellar door chomping at the bit,
All the baggage of repression,
Unspoken obsessions,
My mind filled with asteroids
And Grecian myths,
It’s only a matter of time,
Before this house throws up,
Spilling its guts out onto the streets

There, amidst refuse and detritus,
The unsalvageable wreckage of diseased emotions,
There is a tidal surge of unwanted effluent,
Frothing with oils spills and tenderness

How can I ride this current?
Buffeted by manta rays and killer whales,
The sting of embryos from toxic embraces,
I try to keep my brainwaves still,
Scarcely beyond the introductions

This isn’t etiquette – it’s sabotage,
The unfiltered domain of my domage,
When the kitchen sink leaks
And the faucets all speak
To the tune of fear and love

Moving house to a rough neighbourhood,
The calm before the floo