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...