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

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.

A telling

A telling. pic. poem with words

 

the sound in an Irish voice last night

made me feel nostalgia for an ‘old’ place

on the coast of Donegal

that sentimental muscle in me loved

the lilting refrain

of men who remembered pain

and still

raised a smile and spoke with precision and wit

of times gone by, of dreams gone awry

with an evocation in the air they displaced of ancient associations

the heinous sins, the grief in troubled souls

of men and women who have known

the cling of pain

rising up through words to make

something solid in the air, something lasting

a flag to wave and tell of hope

another hospital visit

Another hospital visit. pic

 

love lies bleeding

yes, I’ve said that before

but the internal wounds

they slice at hope

shape misery, that growing thing

as it mutates – a lava lamp of swelling gloom

wherein light casts little

by way of illumination

and all the little things

others may say and try to do

amount to nought

because inside thoughts collide

with doom – an intractable slide away

into an awful fairground

where light and noise crackle and spit

dodgems bump, grind

internal organs slither

and laughter once evoked by the ride

inverts and spills

lays down a tear

reflected in psychedelic light

blood red

a premonition in an anti-septic room

before the lights go out

Home

Home. A poem

 

wind-tied molecules cling to a park bench

their aggregated jewels drawing colour

from soft morning light

as the dogs and their owners stroll by

oblivious mites in the bigger picture

set fair between their couches and other dreams

and so

this moment in time is just an interlude

a duty woven into the fabric of responsibility

whence in truth all moments go

absorbed into “a life”

whose fragments are the working parts

of a mosaic

the carpet upon which we tread

it’s magic threads and woven messages

all ultimately left behind the door

darkness descending with the flap

the last post resounding on the mat

and emptiness obscures everything finally

all of those things we carelessly overlooked

those messages that were always in plain sight

gone from Welcome to Good Night

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

A rising

A rising. Pic for poem

 

mist rising like silk

disturbed by a murmur

over cold water laid flat

by silence

before morning shakes it all

and voices breathe warmth

on words that float away

in the chill stillness that waits

to evaporate like a departing soul

with memories that whisper sweet nothings

to milky shadows and ghosts;

a coot calls and cuts the air

a heron struts impatient for the curtain to lift

and one more day is vague before

the mist unfurls

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