Saturday 9 November 2019

Poems, Autumn 2019

Body of Water

Rowan berries
and most of the moon,
awash with layers
of river-rush -
notes of seventeen or so
clean pitches -
of glass
and quenched thirst.

Stem thick as
autumnal fruit
as the old tree
growing sideways -
spreading its branches
like a shade of mould.

You could wear the
reeds like ribbons
in your hair -
so thick and green
and begging to be picked.

You get the sense that
this water connects
glacier to swamp
in the same way that
this arm is an extension
of unwritten will
poured down rock
and gathering at the navel,
down at which
with my ancestors
I gaze.



As if I Am a Map

As if I am a map
I am to track
each decline and ascent,
each pothole, plain and forest,
each groove where foxes sleep
bats claim ballrooms of sky.

As if I were not human
I am told to find patterns
as if it is simple,
as if it is cold as bone.

Chants move me,
such as,
it is better with the windows open
it is lighter when the moon is here
the hardest wood succumbs to rot
and beetle-shells make dye

morning and dusk are but shades
a rose speaks the violence of the heart
and when you crunch a stick
you must pray with your feet.

As if there were such a thing
as favours
and investment through planting,
I must present
all manners of evidence
all routes to existence -

the tundra
the mire
and the depth.



Cobwebs hang like cotton tails,
the farmer's son cries
with no sense of scale –
this could be war.

Reeds planted headstrong
with their banana-skin insides
like another kind of cotton
a wetter kind, of sugar.

A young girl
threads her fingers through mine
and leads me
down this path
so familiar
it could be a dream

and the air inside becomes the sky
just as grey and bright
and open.



Light gives way to storms,
the kitchen abuzz
with wholesome distractions.

The needle pierces the eye
and sews us conscious.

Ink becomes a smudge of nuisance
- antique blot on thumb.

We curate starvation
as if it alone will feed us
and become incrementally
more barbaric, and serene.

Less and less
I see the world
as an open picture.
I know now
it is all reflection.

What is real -
I ask daily, and over, and over.

I have friends who encircle
my patch of grass
and sometimes we have a picnic.

The road becomes
oh so lucid
in the dream in the cavity in the earth.

(Rail tracks become ski slopes become hill).

When I'm living I am not thinking.
How to live with the thinking.

The black spot
plunges down -
a dying star,
a parachute.


You Caught Me at Breakfast

The last flight of a wasp
slow as jam
falling off a spoon.
Light inside becomes butter
and there is a smear of rainbow,
a film of cloud.

A door slams -
the reverberation,
its solid clang,
is how I imagine
the realest
and most tangible thought.


I Could Disappear

The more I explore
the more I crumble
becoming as thin as spider legs
at the seams -
unmoored as I am
from the dinner table
so that I float like a satellite
in orbit
like a dancing teapot
capturing the glint of the chandelier
on its way out.



I let my tongue roll
over kiwi and
words slither off
like the long vowels
I once drew out
under morning sheets.

How I recount
those devastations now
from my sexless tower
of river rocks
as big as plates
and kingdoms.