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

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

Damage in transit

 

Damage in transit.pic for poem

 I live on the border of reason

often struggling not to disappear

from the frontiers of hope that sometimes

seem so far away

 

There are days when the emotional weather

is close to overwhelming

and sand bags around the senses

are in danger of a breach

 

Then life becomes so tiring

because, by any measure

especially those that I impose

everything falls short

 

and I am left in the claw of dismal

a tightening fist that excludes

light and hope

that lingers in the gaolers stare

 

For moments like these

are death

as I reluctantly wear the symbols of life

Why do I bear this grudge?

 

Why am I so famished

so torn

bereft

a living. Dying thing.

Go lightly

Go lightly. poem.pic.

 

buried deep

fingers weave and leave

traces of the suffered

the lost and the all too painful

 

they knead and pummel

vibrate with a conscience

so insistent that patterns emerge

behaviours begin to inhabit

 

the soul

so much that we are simply

hosts to feeling –

the carriers of sin

 

but

the kindly magistrate of truth

will spin a yarn and let me off

wrapped around in ragged lies

 

the cloak of shame so dismal

evoking sewers and silent movies

all black & white – so noir

he’ll lift the veil and laugh

 

a sentence in a swarm of words

all dazzle and blame

will coalesce and rinse themselves because

we all deserve a pardon

My amour-plated heart

My amour-plated heart. pic

 

I am curious in a casual way

to enquire within

to knock at the door behind which

failed space and ruins lurk in shrouds

grief looms and guilt skitters not being quite

so apologetic

and if I were to enter in

would I trip and drown in tears spilt of love

lost in the commonwealth of desire sold short

the skirting boards and rough hewn timber prone

to splinter; a sea then, of waste and recrimination

and having entered in

would I seek solace in quiet things like thoughts or prayer

to unberth me from  the quay so that I could float

on principals and occupy untainted  air

to be a visitor, a welcome guest treading on the hearth

and be comfortable contained within the walls

and would I, so ensconced

be able to declare my love unflinchingly

offering up the dregs along with the spoons

and silverware; could I admit to all of it

and  suffer my lips to say- I love you?

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

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

.. to take a leap of faith

Boys at play

 

beyond

imagine it. just beyond

the fledgling on a ledge

deep space beyond and more

that miasma of fear which constricts

every tissue and fibre and

unknowable thing

from taking a leap of faith

 

brother, sister, mother, father, friend

watch over me for I am one

who knows how it feels to stall mid-flight

at that precipice

and court the most unholy thoughts

to allow any manner of darkness in

but in my heart and in my soul

I know I am here because

the ones before me took that leap

they loved me

and I will honour them

Derision

Derision. pic

‘it’s beautiful’,  he said

from the bottom of the wishing well

his eyes, intent, squirming

to find light and  traces of form

for a way out, a clue. A shape revealed.

A helix. An escape. An easy win

like the numbers on a lottery ticket

yet always they seem so distant

so not palpable. Fathoms below and miles above

 they are treasures of the rainbow. Ephemera.

 

And so he went on saying things

clutching at all forms of optimism

knowing that in truth he was going blind

as the bets were lost

All belief, beggared and lost in shallows

the words just backward utterances. Infarcts.

The light going skinny, malnourished to a fade

so grey and white that winter would muscle in

even into this empty spring

from which, when he looked up

he saw death with petals in his eyes

and the earth, a crust at their rims

So many scattered things