january 2017

 

                       (i)

...every spring the swallows arrive

screeching sex and hunger

 

later the jacaranda’s lilac blossom falls

taking with it a thousand hearts

 

maybe, just maybe

true freedom is knowing exactly

 

when to unpick this stunning, repetitive beauty

that real enlightenment is asking

 

how can this raw, exquisite colour

co-exist with a night sky

 

that shimmers with timeless insanity

but then, just how are such words even possible

 

for invariably the dark stanza

is only sent to harass the soul

 

and its music is certainly easier

to see than to hear

 

the rich, tight symmetry

of waves, claws, algorithms

 

each with its own way

of conveying the scent of its sex

 

across the violent, empty fragments of space

but so much blossom

 

and so many hearts have now fallen

our words

 

have become the exquisite colours

both of paradise and of hell...

 

 

 

                      (ii)

 

...how can I ever be reconciled

to the implosive loneliness of sound

 

to these unbearable, ghostly elegies

that predictably tear my mind to pieces

 

better to be deaf

or to have all five, uninhibited senses severed

 

than experience this contraceptive solitude

they call reality

 

it is an indelible nonsense

a pact with chaos

 

a battlefield so foul and deceitful

it bruises my blood

 

causes mountains to stampede

and ice-sheets to groan and spew

 

with devastating, ridiculous noises

gods, sirens, fists

 

devices, IEDs, blitzkrieg

apps, codes, currencies

 

this, this is the long, grey breath

of monumental isolation

 

the long, grey breath of ghosts

singing in unison

 

a sound that must never be heard...

 

 

 

                    (iii)

 

...with no warning a tension begins

to stretch and dominate the air

 

phrases start to rise from the ground

and words to drip from trees

 

an old, cold alliance is renewing

the soul’s blind kiss is again out

 

searching for yet more answers

for the finest of all certainties

 

the forensic trail to absolute zero

a place of trust so solid-cold

 

the future may well finish

with our lips sewn together

 

and vowels cemented to our eyes

as we rush to write humanity’s

 

last ever poem, remember

we are merely the light’s intuition

 

the tongue within these blinding clouds

whose myths invoke judgements that invoke murder

 

the old spiral that dominates the air

the cold kiss of solidified men and women

 

the old, cold kiss of absolute zero...

 

 

                     

                              (iv)

 

...standing alone at the very edge of a web

carefully I lean out

 

and in the motionless dark before me

I sense the city’s raw night

 

slide down my throat

its intimate honey

 

and a feeling of surrogate dread

of the spider’s purple blood

 

enters my heart

have we, I wonder, become what we fear most

 

the sorrowless extinction of all love

a tenderness transformed into hunger

 

it is possible

too easy in fact

 

to roll dice around our mouths

for some brief, tasteless passion

 

or watch an undiminishing ocean of secrets

and yet see only water

 

in my throat the honey spider sits motionless

I dare not breathe

 

love with all its brilliance and menace

is surely the final risk

 

when we stand at the raw edge of the night

leaning out...