Poem: Father of Hallucinations

homer

 

Homer, Father of Hallucinations,
Standing before the masses,
His words punching holes in reality,
Each one, a spasm of fractals,
A quaff from The Sea’s wine darkness

His sightless eyes, blind as Tiresias,
Or the injured Polyphemus,
Are infected with the meat
Of Olympian cloudscapes –
The offal and fodder
Of sea-swept kings,
Rent from a homeland
That never existed

His age-stained robe barely covers
His quaking flesh, feverish with the pulse
Of Memory’s maggots; every scene he’s witnessed,
A scar upon his nervous systems,
He can open and extend
Into infinite pictures

He remembers not just his own life,
But everything from now,
Until Year Zero
Unless he recalls it,
It never happened
His recollection is the backbone
Around which reality pieces
Sinew and flesh-scripts

II.

Now, The Bards are all silent,
No cerebellums tumbling from the mouths
Of ancestors – cobwebs linger,
Bereft aught of meaning, but the meat
And mildew of song-maddened spiders

He has attendants to feed him wine,
Laertes-like, to soften the relation
Between current experience and recollection,
Each cup bought to his parched lips,
A thigh-bone sacrifice to a galaxy of poetry

He could lose every slave, every spear,
Every garment – but poverty,
The only poverty,
Is the loss of his speech’s continuity,
And he would sooner bake in The Aegean Sun
Than hear silence descend on his verse

Memory is a psychedelic opiate
When Life is an inelegant nurse

Poem: Foreknowledge of Demeter

demter.jpg

In heat-deadened late summer,

Desiccated umbels scratch the sky

In dense clusters, weaving between

Nets of wizened harvest

*

Oh, sweet Ceres, flowing overland

From waving field to unslaked furnace,

Bloom and witherance of Persephone,

Blunt Hades’ malady seeks to burnish

*

Tarot cards offers glimpses of ruination,

Pausing between fingers of venomed bites,

Majestic bliss before the cold coronation

Of pallid partners deprived of lights’

*

Vivifying nurturance, sweet heliotropic cadence,

Pasturing all lover’s in the sun’s warm lea,

But I am sick – my mouth too laden

With sores to savour this intimacy

*

With nature, with life, with cold speckled showers,

Running in beadlets down waiting skin,

I cannot feel the parting kiss,

I cannot let your lighthouse in

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

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: Arachne’s Web

spider.jpg

It’s all about the spider women,
Fierce progenitors of ionic columns,
The distance, the space, the depth of touch,
Of giving into madness – but not too much,

Dancing, with my legs in the air,
My eyes in another dimension,
I held hands with the ageless aether,
The keeper of souls, the doorman, the weeper

Then creeping through strata of sunlight,
Crisscrossed with wombs of delicate night,
The sexual antagonism of tribal warfare,
Stretches the membrane between pain and delight,

Tattooed with pulses and invasions of colour,
Smearing the ash across our bleeding palms,
I vault through the boundary of the stained-glass window,
And look for the ecstasy that violence disarms,

With shadow puppets, and leprous hounds,
The jewels reclining in this vault of tears,
Every trauma has a platinum lining,
Every hope is embroidered with fears,

The pelvis, the coccyx, the base of the spine,
The terminal nausea of romantic procedure,
This is the sea-change in which I am caught:
The sadness of the unbelieved non-believer,

Poem: Rodin’s Eve

rodin

Bundling your breasts in your arms,
Eve, how can you be expelled from the garden,
When you are the garden?

The serpent king smites you on stony ground,
With only aching deserts
And a plague of locusts,
You must turn to yourself in comfort,
The auto-eroticism of loneliness,
Becomes the plague blanket of confession

Shivering in your sleep,
And the sunset of silence,
Your swollen belly pregnant,
With the offspring of the world

I feel only pity-seasoned desire
At your Hesperidian folly,
For the fruit of Eden is wet
To tempt the teeth of all