Saturday 17 October 2020

Poems, Autumn 2020

Plane or Machine

I do not wait: I falter

I do not exist: I am a seed

I do not expect: I marry 

My dreams

With the pieces

Laid out in front of me

I do expect:

I expect a lineage

Of ants

To crawl

Across my chest

I invest:

All my eggs into the basket

I get carried away

With cracking shells

Oozing out


Eaten up 

When fried. 

I am scared:

Of new beginnings

I am scared:

Of the ends

& the never-ends

I am scared:

Of losing myself

In these repetitive days

Heightened & tinged 

With new sensations:

Each week I am different

Borrowing from states

I have been before:

Amalgamating into

A new version, always, 

A new me, a new way ---

It is not a line!

That is the great lie!
It is a succession of elastic moments

Shrinking and stretching

And recurring: 

A snowball effect

Constantly melting.

There is no getting there:

There is no there

It is a plane:

It is a machine



The room is hot,

Fresh-boiled with dreams,

Behind the curtain comes

The jewelled opening

Of sweet crow-throats:

That summer morning promise

Transports me

To a kind of paradise

Of real, touchable options

And whip-stinging fantasy

My skin has soaked the sun

I bathed in waves

Am now heavy with salt,

I am ready to be cooked,


To be sunken,


I am ready to inhabit

Nests and gorges,

To seep and trickle

Across mounds

And end up a wire

In ecstatic form,

Breathless with tongue-ache

And worn



There are men outside the window

Low monotonous rumble 

Of a cherry-picker machine

Cutting down branches

To save the trees

The mountains purple

And cloaked in cloud

The air cold and static

With moisture

The shiver of lime leaves

I could stroke them by sight

The pleasing symmetry

Of two mirrors:

Two windows:

Four walls



I am so bored

She said as she soaked

Her hands in the sink 

Nail varnish the colour 

Of alligator scale 

Skin the colour 

Of pallid apple 


Sipping mojitos

Rim crunching of sugar


For when people were objects,

Empty vessels

To be imbued:

Projectile fantasising 

On to tanned skin

And shoulder blades

Meeting dark characters

With Mongolian cheekbones


High beyond high

Beyond skittish

Skirting the edge

And falling each morning

With a thud that sounds


But whose echo 


And becomes euphoric

In its repetition 


Those necklaces:

Stacked up chains

Nights and days

And sandwiched hours

There she discovered

The glamour 

Of annihilation,

The battery

Of the senses

The serenity found

In those places


The kitchen is full

The cupboard stocked

The fridge

With its languid buzz:

Upon the world

She encroaches

Cracking the spine

At dinner time


Come Undone

My teeth melt into caramel:

And so sweet,

The jumble of the senses

The wire and string


Lock-jawed and loosening

The crumble of bones


Dew-soaked knickers

Thrown in the bin

And lavished

With the petrol

Of my morning breath


With stumped resistance 



All fat shorn off




Come undone


We Walk Through the Gardens

Those apples are delicious I say

The ones red as poison

But there are none to pick

From the ground

So you cannot try them

We walk through hydrangeas 

And I feel as if I am leading you

Deep into a kingdom

Alive all around,

The power of foresight

At the pool that reflects

Like a shimmer: a sheet:

You tell me of the lizard you found

Tail bit off

And its symbolism

Of rebirth

I hear your voice from behind

And register its message


We comment on the frames

New perspectives from each position

We notice

There are no names on the statues

I know that we will walk

To my favourite spot at the end

I know because I’ve pictured

This walk, this meeting

Through roses we pass

To sit on stone wall

Dividing field from lawn

Wild from decorated

Coarse from cultivated

Two worlds split

And there it is warm



Many moons ago

A princess let down her hair

She basked in glorious light

With the taste of charcoal on her tongue

She swam down 

From her high position 

And balked at the guards

Off duty:

And on she went

Past cattle and farm

Over marshland

Until she reached a cave

Home to

A congregation

Of winged beings

And there was a loud belly breath

From the sky

The way it opened

It could have cried

And down fell paper snowflakes

In came the wind

Howling at the distance

Piercing all cells

And the glimmer, the beginning

Of eggs


The leaves like shells


Their velvet yokes

The golden truth

Of that awakening

Rose up the princess’ chest

And she too howled

Ribcage split

Exiting the pain 

That all this time had been stored

In that treasure chest

Of blood-filled canals 

And tissue



She howled

And her teeth became black

With the darkening light

Of the forest

And under her eyes

Bruised and blue

With the exhaustion

Of all that standing

In high places

She prayed then


To a new god

A god of web and spiral

A god of circle

Not of spear

She prayed

With her feet

She stuck them bare

Into soil rich with soot

And from there

A splinter: a spark:

From there

Roots grew

Her toes stretching out

And dividing

Like veins

Like a river’s journey

From its mother:

The sea 


When You Were Born There Was a Storm

My father said

Oh when you were born 

The hail beat down

So heavy 

Above us!

What he meant was

There was a storm

As you arrived

He is very proud I think

That he was the first person to hold me

His hands blessing

My wet and innocent



After Hours of Consideration I Have Decided

I must be my own sword

& your resting place