…let no word unbolt this entanglement divine
no form define and cast our affair,
where hands have touched, they shall be unaccustomed
a constant beginning, unseasoned, unlaced
details reborn in each embrace.
let our canvas want never for fresh oil to paint,
each breath a dry brush on yesterday’s masterpiece
every ill-suited colour tomorrow’s inspiration
layer on layer,
moment on moment
here in your arms, never tired of revision.
should but our hearts beat with predicted accord
and our covenant entwined become dusty and framed,
hung on the wall,
familiar and fated
and the warmth of your cheek on my cheek like the sun
answers day after day without blessing or fame –
just whisper, my love, bring your arm over mine
caress with a cadence exotic and fresh
and like the zoom of a lens, a flood at the weir,
both shall we quicken, converge and re-bond
and, our intentions designed,
we refine our endeavour
for the here and the now and the there and beyond…
Admiral of cheeses,
placed on high behind the glass,
your steady survey indifferent
to the taunts of creamy sisters
who flaunt in rows for late night shoppers.
Who are they to me?
You reason in my basket and whisper,
humiliate my bread and beer
with lectures of exalted pursuits
and simple daily pleasures
when rhyming poets walked with gods.
I will not martyr you in modern ovens,
nor melt your maturing angles
(and with it my prejudices)
on burning toast,
but slice your flesh and serve you with a cheerful dried fig.
Curled in twos, a humid sheet
dust and sweat and tired feet
a week on shore, through hotel glass
the city, she says, reflected. Continue reading “The second impression”
You pine for mounds of green that stew in friendly morning mists,
the furrows worried frantic turn asunder with the twists,
and turns of dodging trolls and dousing dange’rous breakfast coals,
your furry foot does blight you as another mountain calls.
Scurry down and up and round in asperous, aqueous loops,
chased by beasts with blackened blood (or other ethnic groups),
you spout reproof and peck under the gentle gardner’s wing,
dimiss him with the claim that you’re a captive to the ring.
You’ve friends from many worlds and say you speak the elven tongue,
and at climactic intervals been stabbed and bit and strung,
Yet o’er and o’er again a sceptic mind must call it quits,
‘Cause in all of Middle Earth are you the whiniest of shits.
lure me with romances
sand down my apprehensions where it counts
inhales me into its belly like a whale does a plankton.
Air rots my throat, I wait for open sun
with open umbrella,
why am I
man finds me
listless, down at a pub
along the Ship Street. Shakes my hand and smiles
his eyes and I smuggle hushed stories, of truth in beer and tea
he leans across the bar and points a while, nods as he orders my favourite whisky.
fickle and restless
in an area café of note
I sit upon a beercrate made fashionable by mediocre means,
a frothy beverage floats to my upper lip, tilts with fine agreement, twisting velvet steam.
A baby buggy beats a rightuous path beside my quarter
and strikes, colliding glass and concrete
milky shower, everything
Vapid stares, enough
to fill an undiscovered vinyl store
halt their one-lined arguments, smoke ironically and regard my dilemma.
The baby too looks down from his fetid chariot, dropping his passionless diversions it sees
how his mother, tall and graceful, holds an effortless smile, hands me some paper and sits with me among the hipsters.
In the German it is true that by some oversight of the inventor of the language, a woman is a female…
A venerable man stands tall at the corner.
Promising worlds of knowledge,
he coaxes me across a corrugated street and
while I dodge the rush-hour Dudens,
he finds my conflict with verb endings fatuous,
laughs as I stumble into subjunctive crevices
and berates me as I reach the edge.
He holds four fingers high,
triumphant, still quivering under the sober weight of perfection:
I, me, to me, of mine.
I falter, my arms full of abstractions of ideas, wasted jokes and tortuous anecdotes,
and now the light has changed to red.
“Rules are rules are rules!” he cries and invents for me a new insult.
But marshalling all the hours and pens and pages
releasing all the sheets and tables
I push them into a single word:
and made it so.
Still the man is there but shrunken and enveloped,
settled deeper into the heartlands,
where he taunts the ones who dare cross his street,
who dare challenge the authority with which we all are born.
When clement breeze blew in the court
he teased his counsel, tore and fought,
the eastern slaves were made to sing
‘A gallant land where boy is king!’
He gave his brothers chains to wear
and found a toy in church and prayer
made others lords by drawing lots
in silver chairs from chamber pots.
But shoulders silked were saddled down
with duty’s weight and golden crown
the knights of flag had lost the field
and took the sword before they kneeled.
The boy inside cried not for those
who made him great in paint and prose,
he found a thief to steal him pride
and soldiers young of face and hide.
He testified of lions and shield
and promises of Gods revealed
the chosen few to save the flock
from northern wars and iron stock.
But foreign spears rained over stone
and took the hearts that held the throne
and as the conquerer’s blade did swing
the boy at last became a king.
From this accusatory stance she mimes
a script that’s read innumerous:
Eyes screwed hard on a rush-hour slew
headphones in, a pirate playlist
(warms the surface of her eardrum)
thoughtful not of ancient mew
but yellow capsules caught and missed
she hums the tune through chewing gum
and with it sings the city’s rhymes. Continue reading “At a bustop in Berlin”
You crispy foe! You offend me
with your voluminous proportions
and leaves that cast no shadow.
Mouthfuls of suspect origin,
wrought in a factory somewhere outside Modena.
Are you gentle siblings showered by a single hose?
Or refugees brought once together?
So tired and limp of disposition,
cracked and broken, designless and destined
to satisfy the nutritional prescriptions of another lunchtime bistro in a leafy suburb.
As you salt and slide around the plate, I wonder:
what would you have told the worm had you lived in his earth?