Poem: The Giantess

giantess

The train is a mouth filled with bodies,
A woman so thin, a twist of the wind
Could snip her spine. Amidst this melee,
The throng of half-digested humans,
Coursing, unsalivated, down a metal throat,
Takes me back to a dream of yesternight,
Beholding my miniature in utter abjection,

Out there, among the mountains,
I beheld her – a Giantess –
Thighs thick as redwoods,
Hips carving fissures in the wombs of valleys,
Her belly a promise of sugar-softened night,
Her breasts the haven where I sought rest,
The resting place of heaven’s talons

I wanted her to see me,
To spy me through the pines,
Peeping tom on an industrial scale,
Voyeur windswept by wood and lichen,
Head filled with planets, and astrolabes,
An inferiority eclipsed
By your magnificent size

How could I become part of that?
Merge with the mountain?
Over the strength of stars and nebulae,
Eyes engage in a dance
Of potent stillness,
With more anticipation in a single stare
Than you’ve felt in your entire life

I knew better than to look away

Over the backdrop of snowy escarpments,
Birds softened by your silence,
All deadened by the dread of your destruction,
I could only look,
Hope to be seen,
Hope not to be seen,
A Lestrygonian on holiday,
Indifferent to weak human meat

But never quite meeting,
No Hieros Gamos,
Just the charge of potential,
Igniting over valleys,
And the inevitable depression
Of awaiting detonation

Walk on giantess,
I’ll keep sleepwalking,
And hope to stumble into your heart
Or else crushed to death by your feet

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Poem: Dragonborn

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When the precious winds roamed;
The lungs of time yet unlacquered
By threads of pneumonia,
All enwombed within the Deity of Water

The Middle Kingdom had yet to bloom
All the tubercles of wonder,
The Kunlun mountains just baby teeth
Sucking ginger in a giant’s cavern

The ten suns heated things up,
Tessellating Pan Gu with arteries of water,
The Jade Emperor sent down The Dragon Kings
To tame the ravines and gorges

As The Blue Carp swam The Miluo River,
Dizzily dancing in its current,
The flesh of Qu Yuan falling into his mouth
Saw the birthing of a dragon

Emerging from time’s chrysalis,
Violently hatching dark sapphire scales,
Quilted with topaz and silken memories,
Echoes of the dynasty’s dazzling ephemera

His body became the back
On which mountains were embroidered,
His yellow belly the anvil
Summoning the desert’s thunder

With each poet he engorged,
Verses personified with draconian beauty,
Their dark pearls in the cinnabar cavern
Coming full moon with elegance

But when beauty is your corona,
Who is there to match you?
Loneliness becomes the peak
On which gravity impales you

The dragon roared over infinite space,
Collapsing galaxies into beads of agate,
Violent order assuaging the chasm
Chaffing the membrane of his unruly heart

He found no solace in the flowing of silk,
The timeless sagacity of Lao Tzu’s words,
The dusty earth was dust indeed,
Everything infected by underworld

How to share, to love, to care,
Saw his spirit’s impoverishment,
By sorrow was his lustre spilt,
By longing was his lifespan rent

The love he wished turned to anger,
Legendary of volcanic frustration,
He hid beneath the palace grounds
To nurture his wounded imagination

But one day, unseen, his love will come,
To claim him from the darkness,
And in showers of sparks as scale-flesh meets,
Will see the healing of all the heartless

Poem: God And The Jellyfish

jelly

We all need a room for doubt,
Somewhere to sweep all the piles
Of egregious mental shaving,
Daylight savings, the weeds creeping in
For the corruption of the whole,
Sending cracks between the mortar,
Slivers of death in veins of life,
Varicose and ready to bear fruit

Then consider the freshwater lobster,
The titanic blooms of aurelia,
The outskirts of sewage dumps,
And nuclear waste tracts,
We all need room for doubt,
Where we can breathe in
The plastic of the ocean,
And nurture the dying king’s gout

Because I remember when all was Ocean,
Looking at the world through sagittal lenses;
I remember when each shoal was a reflection of myself,
And each move of my silver fins was reflected en masse
Around me

Now, there is little self enough to split a shoal,
My brothers, oh my brothers,
Laying bloated and bulbous
On heaven’s surface

Then God had an inspiration:
Remembering the jellies,
The medusae, plankton, and ctenophores,
Thinking of medieval saints,
He remembered those haloes of the ocean,
These tentacled coronas,
Drifting and bioluminescent,
Blooming at the heart of the ocean

If people could only see their godliness,
The ‘God-In-Us,’
Then seagulls wouldn’t explode with microbeads,
And Izaak Walton wouldn’t retitle his work:
‘The Compleat Ende of Us,’

So, God spoke,
And the jellies danced to his music,
Their polyps burst with kisses of life,
He put them on beaches,
As membranes of the coastline,
He had them swarm nuclear submarines,
To starve all the people inside

He had old men sit on beaches,
Clutch tenderly at venomous tendrils,
Man and Jellyfish,
Hand in hand,
Just like The Songs of Old

But God was displeased:
No matter how he blossomed Ocean,
Pullulating her with dense corona explosions,
No one came, no one saw,
On one swam,
Little kids died on beaches,
But not enough to make people notice

But, if you can’t bring Mohammed to the Jellyfish,
Bring the Jellyfish to Mohammed,

So, we were all flooded,
Unheard of since the days of Noah,
On the New Earth,
There were no rulers,
Only Jellyfish as Gods,
Jellyfish as Archangels,
Jellyfish as a Communion of Saints,
To chant the Psaltery of Man

And then God,
In a fit of self-revelation,
Looked down at his body,
His mass of cilia and polyps,
And saw that it was Good

“So that I can be immanent,
And I’m In Us,
I will start the world anew,
Fashioning Man in Mine Own Image.”

And that is the story,
Of how a Jellyfish,
Became the very first Man

Poem: The Invalid

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I could not get home,
Every way I turned,
I was met with demons,
Barroom fiends brandishing broken bottles

They inflamed my nerves,
Converted me into an invalid,
The sick bed my cocoon,
My sick head a rotting womb

I needed nurses to move my limbs,
Help-meets to remind me of my vital functions,
But I would not sing the machinery hymn,
Or taste the wafer of medication

Now, I can just about sit up,
Spare a minute without vomiting darkness,
Yet, being only half a mile away,
I’ll never walk home again

Poem: Infertile

FridaKahlo

Footsteps chime upon the bridge,
But the river cannot reach me.

I hate humans,
I want humans

Wayfaring, wendigos enwrap my ankles,
My pathway a string of corpses,
The phallic church spires are all infertile,
The sky is pregnant with only sorrow,

Being unreachable,
Banned from a whole spectrum of experience,
These limping legs atrophy:
I lay among the nettles,
And, to make things more fertile,
I rot into the soil

Poem: Lake of Ice

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Why can’t my heart fly?
Sticky and stranded among the rocks,
Enwrapped by tentacles and shelled molluscs,
It lurks among the turbid waters,
Waiting to breach for dry land,
But finding safety in the cool thrill of darkness,

I am treading to you over a lake of ice,
Mindful of every shudder, each stentorian crack,
Taking my time,
Not wanting to thaw with frenzy,
To turn what I love into an evasive enemy,
But chased by persistent fears,
Running razor fingers through the grooves of frost,
I want to hold onto you as a ship’s mast,
The last refuge of a madcap drowning fast

But patience, restraint, are my self-loaded chains,
The bitter laughs spluttering from the lips of my ribs,
The pain of counting out the divisive seconds,
The heart splintered by the season’s dials

Always afraid of making the wrong move,
As though love were a game of chess,
A test of endurance and strategy,
Plotting, conniving, abstracting,
Finding excuses to see you again,
To get closer,
To silently sample each efflorescence of your wonder

To kiss goodnight down timeless streets,
The place where endings and beginnings meet

Poem: Surveillance

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Watch a bird in its cage,
Surveillance is enough to make us insane,
The watched pot doesn’t boil,
But blows out its own brains

When observed, I must hide or strike out,
Scurry off to hedgerow,
Use my beak,
The knife I call my mouth,
To rend muscle from tendon,
Inflict wounds to inspirit distraction

But the blood has a way of following you,
Like the leech of bad memories,
Embarrassing actions, drunken confessions,
Of night breezes blowing in past-life memories,
The toxicity of oil spill odours

Spilling the beans,
I spilled out not just my heart,
But my ignorance in a hunk of gelatinous mass,
Something to wrap tentacles around face,
The shattering of serenity,
The prat-fall from grace,
The soaked credibility of good first-impressions,
Met with cold fingers in the morning

Knowing to disbelieve hope’s mercy,
The discouragement of over-spent warning

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: 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: Shaman Sorrow

 

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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