march 2019

 

                             (i)

 

...I suppose I was just one of many smiles

born onto frozen ground

 

a smile born, a mind drawn 

into the mouths of the ice-mothers

 

those cigarette queens at absolute zero

green-and-blue-haired statues

 

with ice-sheets breaking from their eyes

such cold, cold transparencies

 

such heart-attack faces

such passions of no consequence

 

but then, once in their mouths, the fires began

and immediately I knew this explosion

 

this world was not of my making

but, just like every other child

 

I was soon blended with ash and ice

a confusion of existential metaphors

 

a pronoun adrift on the perceptions of others

my smile, it seemed, was never to be enough

 

to melt the ice-mothers

they began wandering off through the constellations

 

pulling out their frozen hair

arranging stars and clouds of dust

 

trying desperately to spell the many words for love...

 

 

                     (ii)

 

...what is the desired shape of truth

its taste, its touch, its magnitude

 

starlight skims the earth

and compassion dies

 

mountains glow at night

chromosomes shatter

 

and our hands dissolve back into the sea

yet the truth is still as inaccessible

 

its needs still as insatiable

and its shape is still somehow all wrong

 

for surely only mad people

only those who still love to suck the tongues of gods

 

can live without this thing

this concentric, bullseyed truth

 

this plus-or-minus transcendence

that must somewhere have a centre

 

a default existence

that garners no dishonesty

 

but, just like us, the seas capture the starlight

and the truth takes whatever shape it wants...

 

 

                    (iii)

 

...the last kaddish floats down the valleys

evaporating the sky

 

fusing epitaphs into the rocks

oceans writhe with verses

 

and as each wave hits the shore

it calls out a name and a time

 

and leaves a line

of broken commandments in the sand

 

but no-one is listening

the land is still in pain

 

and anyway, the place is empty

there is no-one out here

 

speaking or dreaming

of course there are still controversies

 

but they have all been polished into stone

instead it is the oceans that have been left

 

to sing the kaddish

to memorise the faces and names of ghosts

 

it is now the oceans that have been left to dream

to listen and forgive the unforgiveable...

 

 

                          (iv)

 

...what are these flowers

whose petals bleed when touched

 

these clouds that, with every glance

strip the words from our eyes

 

are they confessions, attributes, marvels

what civilisation is it

 

that combs maggots from its hair

that almost always forces love to go awry

 

and what arcane world do we really have

when every god is a supremacist

 

praising murder as a new art form

it is an image too far

 

the vice versa of evil is still evil

so, are these answers

 

or only the shadows of answers

or maybe confessions, or afterthoughts

 

or are they just lies pasted onto reality

to hide the terror of an unwritten existence

 

these beautiful, wondrous flowers

these unutterable, anonymous voices...