Sunday 31 May 2020

Poems, Early Summer 2020

It Contains Me
Womb-ache and engine-roar: that hollow metal ocean. Rain spat out in tiny glimmers: a sprinkling. Shaggy pine-tree wavering self-consciously. I tell myself I am beautiful and strong but I feel drooping, dizzy, and aged. I am tired of the management: of re-carving grooves so deep they seem to me now as valleys, and here I am hacking away with toothpicks and needles. I feel now enclosed I feel now safe with that thin morning light the tap of drizzle or whatever else falls from the sky :it contains me.


Made for Longing
The longing does not leave me The distance stays so close A cracking and crumbling as my foundations are being constantly remade I am a sigh as castles are built up and blown down by desert wind I am a skim of pebble on lake before it plunges into the gap, the deep space between words on a page Some people find ease in simplicity I find maps to other places and circuits leading to other times Each idea and object sparks in me a yearning for origin: the sweet ripe source at the centre of it all and when I get there to the pip the whole world yawns open


The root twists up in a coil of unreasoning bare teeth abdomen ripped the splintering break of membrane The trickle of hot rain dissolves the dust-glazed skylight making it clear only in patterns of viscous river-run veins The frenzy of birds scattered above in timeless constellations, cutglass sonatas spooled out and untrained The promise of solidity when the burden of dawn is relinquished and we charge into day once more unrestrained 


This is not a vacuum
we are not biding time or wishing it to end we are crowning into a new world the top of our heads baptised with desert air shot out from our soupy cave from where soaked in dark heartbeat we now erupt into open wind and storm we have done this many times and each time it is painful that is why we cry and each time we forget the lifetimes that germinate from that very first agonised breath


Joy to the Minuscule

I write a haiku instead of a sonnet I can only bear three sets of syllables I am crouched down and curled up A dormouse sleeping in a buttercup I am a tadpole a lowly grub and the pond is world enough


I Regress

Stay stay said my father he had lettuce stuck in strings between his teeth his breath smelt of marmalade I itched up to high heaven I stank too of stinging nettles and it was my fault but the knowing wasn't my fault I said I am in so much pain he flicked a bug from his eyeline I said I don't trust men he laughed and patted my head silly I gave him half my tooth and the dog whimpered at my side and on that day it was a gale on that day there was more to see than usual my hair was greasy I was shocked - I let down my mother on the road and it was windy there was shale - I left my mother on the road we drank beer in the bath and oh there is more there is nothing more the road cleared in my mind and what I was left with what I was left with what I was left with was a song and it resounded in my heart and I was all alone all alone in that gigantic big forest and there were wolves there were trees I didn't know how to look after myself there were wolves there were trees - oh oh did you shout did you call me - I could not concentrate on a thing outside my body untangling the knots they came out to dry in the skyline and there were birds there were moths with thick velvet wings and they scattered dust and I felt the absence of love I felt it because it was so close and I touched it and the question that hung was how can you feel something that isn't there

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