a night at the theatre

a night at the theatre. pic

 

I careened through narrow streets

in the darkest of Piccadilly and Soho nights

in ramshackle pursuit of a sea captain

while under my arm I struggled to carry a mattress

and all the time I knew it was absurd

but I kept up a dialogue with him, remonstrating

and arguing with the crew about why and how

he had parked his ship so close

to my car and blocked me in

 

Awake I am left with the residue

of confusion

and amazed at what goes on inside my head

when the day-shift goes out to play

and all manner of other characters move in

to the theatre of my inventions

that bristle with malevolent energy

to prick my pride and expose

my febrile hold on reality

Looking for tense

looking for tense. pic

 

I sit on the fringes and think

that’s my problem

I try too hard

 

all the letters dance untamed

taunting me, as a Lion resists

it’s tamer

 

and in this circus of wills

under the dome and ropes

of a tent that exaggerates

 

each small loss of authority

until I am left spitting

uncouth fragments of the alphabet

 

at the mighty beast

I have imagined as a metaphor

in this ring of despair

so smile, please

so smile, please. pic for poem

 

in shreds

all torn, left bleak

the frayed edges still

are laid flat like mould

on the corpse of failed hope

 

the tired man

in the morning aches

for more fluid limbs

sunshine in the senses

and petrol in the tank

to deny accumulating years

 

sounds,  emotion, intercourse

all around normal

cease to spark or lift

this dependant soul

until in truth

conscience pricks self-pity

 

so, praise for humour

when truth takes scissors

to the false preening of vacuity

and draws together scraps

of the fabric

that makes me whole

moments

your country needs you, and you, and you..

 

I send out daily bites

like nourishment for souls

unbidden

is this generosity?

sharp insights that come from moments

freshly squeezed – the sap of thoughts

that flounder if they are not transmitted

 

my throwing out of the fishes and loaves

is the displacement of all that is mine

just moments, my fractions

are they gifts?

these little things that mean a lot to me

harboured in neutrality

go children go, for it pleases me to watch

 

my atomic vanity discharged

simpering and hoping for traction

and wishing above all to be absolved

is this guilt?

for the smallness that haunts

can taunt me in an ironic way

because I know too much about irrelevance

New day

New day. pic for poem.jpg

 

dried aromatic fruit in a bowl,

listlessly emits a fragrance

it’s yellow lemon slices lay down and serve

a purpose, throwing us off the scent

of household smells, the settling of history into fabrics

into carpets coated with the travellings of family life

the pets and children, friends and villains that

transmit the dirt and odours of the everyday

and I sit here with it’s feint smell

and wonder if it helps

 

I am naked and waiting for the day

to unfold

should I wait? should I press play?

will this not be like any other day

such quandaries are defining moments as I drift in space

the small and incidental bits most easily forgotten

become a personal history

My aim?

for it not to turn to grief. to potpourri.

A cup of tea ( will settle it)

a cup of tea

 

I salute the deep swells

of an ocean that rolls

it’s hunger audible, sucking, heaving

a breath, then the rasp of shingle

dragged across the palate

that moment of calm, when

I imagine the stomach is full

satiated

before another lunge below the moon

announces gravity will not wait

and sailors bob on waves

duty bound, flung in a dance

a flamenco of spray and romance

and me

so far in land that this

may or may not be happening

but it matters not

because to me it’s all

a cup of tea

A to Z

a to z. pic

 

leaves lay down on the path

their colours gone quiet, like mourners

and wait

for yet another foot to fall

to make an impression and leave

the cold trace of a dog or it’s masters progress

and out of the blue church bells chime

at ten past ten precisely, a descant

peeling off memories from the surface

of the still air that withholds all it can of last year

I am, it seems, stuck in a pause and waiting

for time itself to acquiesce and loosen up

to free me from my own mystifying history

and this harbour of threadbare dreams where

leaves lay down on the path