june 2021

                     (i)

 

...it happens while staring at clouds and oceans

the stomach’s white heat begins to move

 

extruding towards the soul

this feeling of having been crushed

 

stabbed in the face by existence

by a type of ecstasy

 

that no-one dares to contradict

it is, perhaps, this restless, insurmountable pain

 

of verses that can only be safely read

in the uncovered eyes of the dead

 

this twilight womb

this place where the clouds can crush

 

where deep existence is revealed

as the breath of a single atom

 

a cascading error

that rivets the mind

 

to such meaningless oceans

such meaningless wonders

 

to this perverse, intractable joy

of being swallowed by creation...

 

 

 

 

                              (ii)

 

...so what lies beyond this point

or is this all there is

 

these shreds of hyperbole 

this origami world

 

with its beaches dressed in semen

its revelations floodlit

 

however surely that ancient hinterland 

that newly-found land is still there

 

calling out across the frontier

must your enmity bleed so freely

 

must the road to compassion

always go via your fascism

 

but the checkpoints wait

and the towers scan

 

quietly collecting faces

drawers full of severed fingers

 

the alpha and the omega

of an old, malfeasant world

 

dressed, adorable, mute

this road to wherever...

 

 

 

                   (iii)

 

...what if I don’t want

every voice of every person

 

to come from my lips

shouting agnus dei

 

reverse the earth

we are still the minions of death

 

what if, instead, I choose

not to clamour or chat or cry

 

or even to text the universe

but instead I choose to drink

 

the silence in falling snow

the rhythms of drifting seaweed

 

would it not be a joy

to embrace this cosmic vacuum

 

which every second of every day

takes from my mouth its share of my breath

 

but would it really matter

for was I not born a captive to others’ voices

 

an accident of countless histories not my own

perhaps then this is what it means

 

to be sired by silence

a child falling as snow...