Marking time

You will be seen shortly

 

If you could look at old photographs

for the rest of your life would you be sad,

not knowing what the future might have in store,

unwilling to wait for it

 

Deep voiced chatter below from the young men

who were boys not so long ago – unaware

that Dad is in his garret going stale

trapped in their expelled air

 

Above an aeroplane drones against heaven

sketching time, spreading dreams, reminding me

of the past

Of how elastic time can be. Except that it has stopped

 

The spring in the step of the man in that old picture

has uncoiled – it lays flat – lacks – kinetic energy

lives on in the losses of the past

Moribund. No better word for it.

 

Now people go out into the street to worship

care workers

clap and cheer to show solidarity against a single

malevolent cell

 

The wait goes on. The future stalled

Their voices below rumble on unaware of the past

because they live in hope, inviting the future to ‘come on in’

while my hair is grey, extinguished, so even pixels concur

 

This lockdown may become a permanent thing

I feel it’s characteristic embrace

A painless drowning – ennui

And ask again, why has it always been this way?

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

Glimpse ( one of many )

Glimpse. Pic for poem.

 

in space, in time, a caught moment

that locus

between now and sometime later can be playful

yet the gaps lengthen and splice

into the inevitability of unfolding time

that ineluctable luxury and it’s conflation into one’s self

This being the first of the month and by its nature

much like many others I find myself in a fold of history,

with its little bookmarks liable to be set free when shaken

from the spine of ‘my’ book. Its close weave and glue, it’s conformity

posing the question, would you choose freedom if there were a choice?

Would you have the presence of mind whilst you were in free-fall

to attach yourself to something meaningful

to make a pact with a promise and hang there in space

waiting for clarity?

Would you, could you. do you exist in partial time,

a partner in grace?

Well do I?  Will I ever fall to earth…

navigation

Beached boat on Brigthon beach

 

dissonance

that disrupted space between my ears

that informs an ever hungry brain

the interpreter of senses

and those impulses

the drivers of my being

Oh captain guide me

but I have said these things

had these thoughts

for ever, forever my pernicious

insecurities

Oh captain let me inhabit

your shoes

let me dissolve into your clothes

your ribbons and your certainty

and plot a course that might stretch

with ports of call

from A to Zee that has a burning arc

and goes eventually to deep pacific blue

unerringly

So. Invite me to sit at your groaning table

with all the other grateful ghosts

I am the news

Me. 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

Traces

Traces. pic for poem

 

distortions of the real world are glimpsed

in the fading light from planets we cannot reach

we writhe and moan at fallen beauty

exaggerations of form that illuminate our limitations

like

soft green moss on the leeward side of a fallen branch

as if beauty would adhere to the rules of an auction

where the gavel comes down and makes a pronouncement on taste

though the ‘blind bids’ are king in the market place of ART

your thoughts kind sir/madam are as nought

you may keep them to yourself when

the only margin for error is poverty

and if you inhabit that space you are inadmissible – hard fact

for beauty that has form can be traded

but the peasant must be willing to sweat in order to admire

the finer things and dream – to aspire

and chase shadows that even the rich are aware of

because in the shallows there is a harbour

where dreams and boats drown in

far removed from honest toil

Ha

Ha. pic for poem

 

 

 

I look at me

with my ego smeared

the shared history between my eyes

in that smudge on glass that was once

hot

breathing shallow now, the heat

on simmer

where once it bubbled I am confronted

with a lurk

a knowing look – maladroit

that has replaced the complacent years

where all that milk and honey was spent

what I imagine now

is the drool

overlapping and seeping – cruel

my vanity exposed – my fate

made me look, made me stare

a childish dare and then a prank

gone sour

cracked vision on the wall

tired of taunts

I’m going to embark on a course

of self-improvement – nutrients

make me look, make me stare

a childish response, vanishing in thin air

Ha

Pillow talk

Pillow talk . pic for poem

 

that young man still visits me

in dreams and the haunts of insecurity

wherein I am needy and fearful and seek

a hand to take me, a gesture to reassure

that there is a safe place out there

where I will not be mocked or measured

and made to cry

the ghost of my father’s taunts

are the lingering death rattles of his demons

unleashed again to dominate and destabilise the line

my hapless chromosomes, the links and nerves

of my cradled brain all set to fuse –

how incredible that I am saddled

even as my own light goes dim

with the furies my father deliberately laid down

so today I fight to be complete and rummage

in the box of my component parts – looking

hoping to find a ‘peace’ of sorts

and hand it down to my own sons

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