november  2016

 

                                               (i)

 

...all my life I have been waiting to be born

longing, in fact, to be expelled

 

from this dull, incomprehensible pregnancy

and all my life I have watched in the distance

 

the shadow-soul watching me

a spectre of myself who even now

 

seems to know more of me than I do myself

but no matter what I do

 

this womb’s irrational matrix

still holds me fast

 

just as it has always held me

an animal hiding in the undergrowth

 

fearful of birth

afraid to kick out

 

although once I did imagine

that words could impel the sky

 

to flow with incandescent silver

through humanity’s heart

 

that reason would finally rise

an irrefutable chorus

 

from every throat on the planet

but I was mistaken

 

words seem more a key

made to lock the womb than open it

 

and besides, my soul has been forced

to crawl even deeper into the dark, amniotic undergrowth

 

outside the spectre’s shadow waits

and again I am afraid to move

 

again fearful of my own presence...

 

 

                      

                               (ii)

 

...does time really crave, really yearn

for some routine apocalypse

 

some outlandish, mathematical fear

or perhaps for some unutterable promise

 

it seems sometimes so

but time is an endless fever

 

a game of tangled prophesies

dust downloaded into the eyes

 

a bag full of cotton-soft enchantments

and, of course, the grave inside the womb

 

where time also burns

its ashes becoming entertainment

 

a poetry edging beyond the speed of light

and with such starving distances

 

time leans out

grips and swallows

 

down through the chambers of the heart

all the vast faces frozen within eternity

 

the awkward, feverish blood

moving from star to star

 

with enchanting, mathematical cruelty

the endless apocalypse inside the womb

 

the hunger with which poetry burns

the promise for which the dust yearns...

 

 

 

                      (iii)

 

...aleppo child, you did not ask for life

neither for any gift of love

 

yet you sit amid the ruins

with only half a face

 

the men about you

hating the very air they breathe

 

how then can I or anyone

now give you back your trust in the world

 

your eyes accuse the lies

in every one of mankind’s promises

 

where men and women have learnt to laugh

with their mouths full of the ashes of their children

 

yet your eyes still will not leave me

they scream and scream

 

down into the hollow ethics of men’s words

every child’s broken life

 

is a god without a conscience

every child’s forgotten pain

 

is a thousand more years of hate

every child’s love

 

is a gift that powers the human soul

and for once

 

 your eyes must never close with forgiveness... 

 

 

 

                         (iv)

 

...as I stand trying to make sense

of each and every arterial breath

 

mountains, valleys, rock faces

all stumble towards me

 

all intent on splitting

the blue darkness beneath my feet

 

yet, undeterred, I keep on watching

as oceans now rise

 

arching across the deep, emerald skies

they have come, I know, to spit

 

some narcotic firmament into my face

and there, surely, howling through the salt rain

 

is the undeniable sting of words

hammering against my forehead

 

you exist only

for the sweetness of certain death

 

the wellspring of your rage

but remember, there is a beauty in nothingness

 

which has nothing to do with beauty

it is a crumbling, exhausted luxury

 

the inexplicable stability of cold atoms

just a few steps outside existence...