These Rooms

These room. photograph

breathe honesty through pain

assemble despite craving

and are drawn to communicate

with a fierce resolve

that bares it’s face

to sinews and contours laid bare

in past shame. self pity. arrogance.

shyness hides deception

in that mask which enables carnage

and yet each day

new recruits file in

and face cracked mirrors

in humble places

that ask only for truth

and bear witness, sometimes

to a craving

for redemption

for love and peace

that lies bleeding and torn

in memories that stink.

These rooms offer

an unassuming refuge

for bodies and minds

that are willing.

Castaway

Castaway

I am sat

stark naked on a sunday morning

reviewing the dark past,

and stewing

with those tangled, escaping memories

over my part in all of that.

And on a blank sheet of paper,

white, beside me, waiting, innocent,

a pubic hair.

Insouciant. Detached from me

lazing absently

Laughing at incongruity.

Daylight

Daylight

Dawn. Below the conscious curtain

Muddy blood and feelings

Not yet warmed

Are hemmed-in

Hooded by something desolate

And light struggles to enter

Can you cut two slits

To penetrate the veil

Can you be a saviour

Enter below skin

Infiltrate a little goodness

And leave without a bruise

The air is static

A wide pulse that waits

Spider-like for vibration

And I pause

As I have done so many times

For gravity to sink the gloom.

On hearing Leonard Cohen’s new album, ‘Popular Problems’

Popular Problems

Popular Problems

 

Reconcile yourself with the past

Buy some music from the mouth

Of a man who knows

Whose words rode over you decades ago

When even flesh wounds were deep

Tears were squeezed out of innocent pores

For the loss that the future already knew

Weighed heavily on that version of me

 

I could taste the void

The useless beauty

That would be the gulf

Between now and then

An ocean of lies

The dark passing echoes of closed doors

A concertina of blurred emotions

Emerge now

 

To his voice which sounds embalmed

Dark, grainy and spiritual

Stripped of peripheral notes

Unnecessary harmony

Just carrying flesh on articulate bones

Stretched to near the end

And still he makes sense

Of the solitary in me.