Tuesday 6 March 2018

The City Bears Fruit: Poems from Granada (#2)

Fehu (Prosperity)

Prosperity – she spelt, as the water made a snaky trail– prosperity, she whispered, carving the symbol into the sand, the waves crashing behind her and seeping in the outlines. The symbol resembled a tree – a straight line with two parallel branches extended on its right side – the wind whipped at her headscarf, strands of her hair veiled her face, and she licked her lips to keep them from sticking. It was winter – February – it was winter and windy and she wrapped her long coat around her body that was all scrunched up into a ball, her limbs pressed together, all the energy she could muster tucked up inside – all of this counts, all of this is leading somewhere – she coughed and drew blood, wiped it off her cheek – she thought of summer fields and roses creeping up a stone wall, and the smell of honeysuckle on a warm breeze, and the dumb, placid happiness of rising with the cuckoo. Prosperity – she cried out – and she was in need, of a change in energy, of a new purpose, who knows what will come, all I can do is make wishes, set intentions.
                  Things blossom as slow as the seasons, and yet they always come by so fast – what is that? When you observe something, tease it out, does it halt, become static – look at me! Study me! Like the subject of a painting, observation creates still life. And when we put our attention elsewhere, on the small moments of daily life, suddenly – Oh! I am met with fate! Someone has rolled out a carpet and shown me the way – how delightful, what a surprise! Great truths abound, lesser ones crawl through the window and skulk away with their heads bowed –
                                     I am beautiful and I am strong – I hold the world in my palm and I will write forever – I present and conjure – I symbolise the flow of life – caught now in the middle of it all, the juicy core, where I am solidified, strengthened.
                                                       And so the tides of time will seep into the grooves, and I will keep carving, evoking, letting shapes form around my crystal body, around the fleshy parts, waiting for nothing, waiting for it all. Everything is contradiction, we flow with one hand open and one eye closed, swimming and dancing.
                                                                        I float when I separate myself, I float as I come down from the tree. Do you see me, lying naked on the bark? Eyes are glinting, there is light mist. Mosquitoes hover in their shapeless flight. It's as if the river is full of jewels and we are the miners, and the protectors.



My tear ducts
my chest
my womb

- all roots to my tree
to that sleeping body next to me

When will I learn
it's the gaps that are fertile

Lotus flowers born
from unlikely beginnings

The promise of greatness:

in my pigeon-fluttering heart
crops of vegetables
line up for sustenance.


The First Week of January

Rain falls
after thunder
before snow

I welcome it -
bring me everything
I said
I want it all!
not realising that I was inviting
emptiness, disappointment, fear

in all empty things lie truths
all that dead space, full of truths

in the back of a brewery
drinking black beer
from heavy black glass

and it's cold up here in the city
as things line up for tragedy

I turn it over in my palm
this exquisite pebble
this eternal conundrum:

fleeting love
like a passing bakery
with its tease of warm odours.



Marital scenes -
grinding coffee beans
sandwiched between musical scores

the fruits of a mistake
the knitting contemplation
monotonous, satisfying

Hand me another jar!

These scenes -
the slow waltz of routine
timetables, appointments

Where to live?
The danger?
The flimsiness of plans

Everything exists in the ether
And the ether?
Doesn't exist

So where does that leave us?

In the space between a song
and some loud-mouth cosmic joke



I become a lesser self
as you shoot off into space
the fear of cliches
greater than
the fear of slipping into nothing

when to fight
and when to lie back in mud

those murky masks,
moments alone
crying to no one

these low dips
into puddles,
rural wastelands

There seem to be textures:

beyond a tired mind,
unimaginable depths

beyond a bruised heart,
friends not yet met

is the same side:
a gossamer flower,
an onion

These things I need:
I pray for them with tiny hands.

These thoughts:
I bear them no fruit.

Is life really like a Catholic church?