Pollution

Broad Lane in fog

 

The demons came again last night

traipsing through the virgin forests of my head

all dark and quiet, unsuspecting in repose

when I lay all the trees to horizontal so they can rest

before making a canopy for the day

that place of safe passage for journeymen

and people with business and clear consciences

to perambulate, perhaps not like fawns in a sylvan scene

but far off,  in soft focus, on a good day

How often must this happen? How many treats du jour

come curdled back to me

writhing dishes in the bleak moments of darkness

where death rehearses the curses over my cooling form

and I, innocent and possibly snoring am violated by my own ghosts

so I am minded to erect a one-way street

from one ear to the other actionable only at night

to see if I can divert this filthy traffic

expressions

expressions . pic for poem

 

how could we ever inhabit

the dictionary of small

with all those timid fears acting

as blocked thoroughfares  – One Way routes

 

however we slept in daylight with a cloak

like a shroud around our premonitions

issuing back and forth –  stale breath

it’s noxious presence a great barrier to intercourse

 

how in truth were we ever to

alight upon the path that would

lead to enlightenment when darkness was clearly in the lead

and we, poor seconds, were merging on the page

 

this book is hardly ever opened for fear

that truth will shred the barest optimism

and send us back into the corner of a room

to solitude and certainty that second best will do

strips of colour

strips of colour. pic

 

2001 a striped green odyssey

new house, new walls – frontiers to decorate

make our own in the image –  of us

a thick chalk stripe and pale green

no harbinger of climate change – no prescience

just the primitive urge to alter and overwhelm

previous incarnations and their orthodoxies

so we set about the newly stripped walls

with paper and paste then cut lengths

hanging chads of green and chalk vertically aligned

 

2020 suspecting it is time, again, for change we

erase the intermittent green enthusiasm

and come up to speed with the colour of now

having sat in bed on sundays with the papers

our backs, virtually, against the wall – blase about our choices

the passive tapestry unflinching at world events

solemn in its duty to conform to our sense of what

should decorate the space where we have been most intimate

the cuts into corners where we swore at each other for incompetence

have settled into our own folklore as we dare to dream of something other

than green

Branch telegraph

Branch telegraph. pic for poem

 

I have heard it said that birds are far from amiable

as they go about their daily business, it is

not so that chirrups denote bonhomie amongst

the tree people, sky artists and majestic scavengers

it is not the tittle tattle of the corner shop or post office queue

not Mrs Jones intoning in rapid outrage of the ‘doings’ of those people

from Upper Hyde

” far from it” as a falling apple would say, if it could

they are in fact constantly squabbling over food, territory or

when the season dictates, sex

so rinse the romance out of your susceptible minds

those birds are just like the rest of us except

they fly with a grace and ease that we must salute, otherwise

they are no better than the clowns at number 43 Station Road

and so it is with these thoughts I enter in to another New Year

already going off

sat here entranced by the sound of rain on the conservatory roof

and the blending of water and suds from the washing machine

in the newly announced second decade of this new century

the changeling and the selfish seed, perception – pure and simple

I heard it from the birds

Bardroom banter

 

I'm empty

the poet’s gross conceit

that all things can be known

everything reduced to pity

in their grand strokes

the ineluctable, the inviolable

made naked

by inspiration

but I believe

as all failed poets do

that ghosts know more

and men in cloistered cells

with only silence

and chants to break the mood

glimpse gifts

that sentient men

must miss

and so at times I long

for my last breath

and a glimpse at the noble

in silence

thank-you

Thank-you. pic for poem

 

sometimes

enlightened witnesses drift by

and save us

from darkness and the weight

of sorrow

which can grip at any soul

that dares to float

beyond the moral compass

and those of us that have been lost in space

salute those guardian angels

who sprinkle us with dust

 

those good people who are

unwitting parents

in times of need

who were ” enlightened witnesses”

live on within us

but you know

so much of this is second-hand

so much spent air in search of truth

and I can’t claim to own it

or know it or be more than

receptive to whispers

I ask you

I ask you. pic for poem

 

words stall

splutter, sprawl

like puppy dogs

and things that crawl

 

go lightly

go dark

tinker with guilt

go for walks in the park

 

I have a drawer

stuffed full of them

a wriggling shower

all prone to mayhem

 

and can I tame them?

hell NO

they are gone. Pro Tem

Hello. I call. Hello

 

I sometimes ask for the menu

the weegee board of reason

in order to get a view

and they answer with treason

 

vexatious as ever

characters designed to play

bit parts that deliver

things I should not say

And in the morning

Bell weather

 

I sit playing at words and looking

for their ruined meanings as

above me rain detaches itself from the moods

that are clouds that linger in doom

and laugh as they get lighter and pull away

to a heaven that smiles on the other side of the world

while upside down other people find congress

in immaculate thoughts,  just like mine

though it all, of course, is unknowable

and that susurration  of damp pellets on glass,

that rain, is somehow soothing as it washes away

the stain of grief – the echo

that seems to last, to follow and linger

like a partner in a sensual dance

guiding me with soft fingers into vice

 

Tomorrow will try to intrude

and entertain my future with presentiments but

I am caught here in the cloying sense of a loss that is impending

the gravity of doubt that knows me, owns me

so well that I have adopted it and beg to drown

in this timely shower of raindrops surrendering on glass

the drum beat and patter of those renegade soldiers

dividing me from fate as they slip away in disarray

beseeching the spent remorseless air to mourn

other fallen dreams set fast in the earth with encryptions

on stone tablets that are stoic with their enduring love

the epitaphs that outlive sorrow day after day

and all the letters bleed from their wounds, their histories

the kindness of flowers left at the scene

and in the morning

Offerings

Offerings

 

I know a little, not a lot

but I can lay words at your feet

and hope that you will let them in

nourish them and give them shape

in those long strides we take

in hope, in friendship and shared trust

so that in the fullness of time

we too may become united

in the soft transfer of a love that speaks

so quietly that if we travel in haste

we may damage it in the slipstream of self interest –

that selfish gene that threatens to deny

all the gifts we care to give

I am the news

I am the news. pic for poem

 

I am a sculpture

waiting upon reason, mercy and miracles

to mould me and make sense of each

passing moment that renders me as small

 

I am an echo

of nothing more than memories that slink

in the undergrowth of  my own propaganda

and threaten my neck with a sensual constriction

 

As spirits go

I am evaporating on the back of so many

disappointments

that a ghost would wail at the iniquity

of living in this entanglement

 

but I am immune

as a rogue infection to clinical intervention –

a bacteria so fit that healthy cells

emigrate to other hosts and leave me isolated

in my own member state

 

I am dilute

as my age dictates

that blood relatives die around me

and I take the calls of surviving kin

and enter in to their ‘arrangements’

 

I am the understudy

for my impending future, the heir apparent

to a ‘long wait’ that others may remark

was lived in haste and might in time improve